The federal government will soon let it be known whether or not it intends to close the Fire Island breach at Old Inlet.
The Draft Fire Island Wilderness Breach Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement should be released “in the coming weeks,” said Elizabeth Rogers, a spokeswoman for Fire Island National Seashore.
There will then be a 45-day public review of its findings and comment period.
Comments will be accepted online at the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment website and by mail. A public meeting will be also be held at Fire Island National Seashore’s Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal.
The 1,500-wide breach was ripped open during superstorm Sandy in 2012, after which several public officials up and down the South Shore immediately called for its closure — fearing bay waters would rise and lead to repeated flooding of shoreline homes.
Proponents of keeping the breach open, including leading marine scientists on Long Island, contend the breach is not causing bay waters to rise.
Not only that, it’s making for a cleaner bay and healthier ecosystem, they say.
Those are the major issues the National Park Service, which controls the property, is grappling with as it decides on whether or not to initiate a closure of the breach, which would be conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Impact Statement was initially expected to be released in September.
Brookhaven Town officials, including Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilman Michael Loguercio, have called on the federal government to leave it alone.
Photo: The western side of the wilderness breach shot this month. (Mike Busch)