A stormy winter has taken a toll on beaches in the Hamptons, and repair crews have worked non-stop rebuilding dunes and constructing sea walls. But this endangered bird's nesting season starts soon and crews have only until Friday to finish.
This summer promises to be a downer, as beach goers must suffer the indignity of having to frolic on a sandbag-strewn coastline, all thanks to the piping plover, or charadrius melodus, an endangered bird. And it's just not fair, because crews haven't had enough time to finish their expensive and time consuming repair work before the piping plover needs to settle down. The Journal has the heartbreaking story:
All along the Hamptons' gilded shores this spring, repair crews have been as plentiful as sunbathers in July. But because environmental regulations prevent construction on the beaches of eastern Long Island after late April, unsightly sandbag barriers and other temporary patches will likely remain all summer.
That's right... all summer. Does no one care that homeowners in the Hamptons can shell out as much as $25,000 per year to keep their dunes in top shape, just to have it ruined by some bad weather and the nesting habits of some crappy bird? That's too bad, some say. And then there's Billy Joel, who knows when the time is right to price gouge an erosion-prone beachfront property:
The late actor Roy Scheider resorted to sand bags to save his home from a storm in 2005. Yet he sold the 1.5-acre property to singer Billy Joel in 2007 for $16.75 million. Mr. Joel has put the home back on the market asking $22.5 million.
Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst is preparing everyone for the worst: "There's going to be lots of beautiful beach, but anyone who's familiar with our coastline will notice a difference." So there it is — your summer, ruined by outrageous environmental laws and a bird.