Glen Cove beaches (almost) ready for summer


City officials expect that Glen Cove’s Pryibil and Crescent beaches, beleaguered by winter storms and sewage runoff, should be open for public use by the start of summer, with some caveats.

The public segment of Crescent Beach, through which a thin stream of polluted water has run unremediated for nearly a decade, will soon be reopened for sunbathing. Swimming and fishing will remain prohibited until the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation pinpoints the source of the pollution.

To that end, the DEC, Nassau County and code enforcement officials for the city are in the middle of a weeks-long investigation of the pipes, which appear to be depositing sewage into freshwater marshlands that feed the Sound-bound stream.

Fiber-optic cameras, which technicians run up the pipes to locate the properties where they originate, have been “discovering new things every day,” said Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, of Glen Cove, the county legislator who helped secure funding for the cameras. She said she would not go into further detail until the DEC completed its study, but added that property owners have been cooperative when approached about problems on their land identified by the cameras.

“It’s my hope,” said Mayor Tim Tenke, “that over the coming weeks we can pinpoint and rectify the issue so that we can reopen Crescent Beach for swimming in July or August.”

In anticipation of the reopening of Crescent Beach, the city has repaved and repainted the faded lines in its parking lot, which until recently had been weather-worn and plagued with potholes.

East Beach Road, one of the roads that leads to Pryibil Beach, has been closed due to severe potholes since January, and, as of press time, was being re-paved for the summer season.

While this fix is expected to last during the warmer months, the pothole and erosion problems on East Beach Road have persisted over the years, in large part because of frequent flooding from the swampy marshlands west of the street, and a wintertime “freeze-and-thaw effect,” according to Manny Grella, the Department of Public Works’ general foreman.

A permanent solution, to abate the flood risk, would be to raise the road, a process that Darcy Belyea, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said would require state and local permitting from environmental agencies, and more intensive work. Belyea said she expected the city and the Village of Lattingtown, which share a stake in East Beach Road’s fate, to begin that process in the fall.

Even if the road had stayed safely passable, the beach it led to, until the week of May 7, was short about 1,500 tons of sand, thanks to the a quadruple-whammy of nor’easters that lasted into late March.

The sand has since been trucked in and distributed by bulldozers along the beach. Belyea, who is charged each year with re-sanding the city’s beaches for the summer, was said by colleagues to be “thrilled” and “over the moon” about the quality of the sand, the top layer of which is extremely fine and soft — the same kind that is used for golf course sand traps.

Pryibil Beach will open on May 26, with the celebration of the second annual Flip-Flop Appreciation Day, at which the city will give out flip-flops to the first 100 people to show up at either Pryibil Beach or Morgan Memorial Park Beach. The fishing pier at Pryibil Beach will remain closed until it can be repaired from the damage sustained over the winter. Engineering on those repairs is underway, but for now, anglers are free to cast out at the west end of Pryibil.