The pier at Prybil Beach in Glen Cove is closed for repairs for the foreseeable future.
Mayor Tim Tenke said scuba divers discovered that some areas of the pier were broken during a beach cleanup earlier this month. He said the city hired engineers to investigate, who found that several areas of the pier were either broken, weakened or completely detached from the pier itself.
Some of the timber columns which hold up the pier have been worn down due to pounding waves and storms, Tenke said, making the pier an unsafe place for people to walk. The columns need to be reattached and re-secured before the pier can be used again.
“I’m not saying that it’s an imminent risk of collapse,” Tenke said, “but let’s not push our luck and tempt fate.”
Tenke said the city would likely have an idea of the repairs’ cost next month and work would begin as soon as possible. In the meantime, residents can fish from the beach.
Some residents were not happy with the closing of the pier, saying that it is one of the few spots for local fishing enthusiasts to go.
Anthony Esteves said it wasn’t long before the Pryibil Beach pier closed that he was fishing there, adding that he was shocked to see it closed.
“Up until late October you had 20 to 30 people fishing off that pier,” Esteves said. “It’s a very popular fishing spot and quite frankly the only decent one we have in Glen Cove. It’s probably the best fishing spot on the entire Gold Coast.”
Many anglers like himself take what they catch and bring the fish home to stock their freezers. Esteves said that fish is also given to local, less fortunate families.
He agreed that the pier is in need of repairs but disagreed that it was at risk for collapsing. The pier should not be closed until the repairs are ready to be made, he reasoned.
“People pay a lot of money to live in this town,” he said. “A lot of people who do not fish, they like to go see those million dollar sunsets at the end of the pier. It’s a de-stressor; it’s inspirational for artists and writers. It’s nice to have the fresh salt air to breath in.”
Fellow fisherman Adam Sotiryardis, an avid fisherman, said he prefers to fish to the left or the right of the pier during high-tide, which brings him the best results. But while he understands the need for the repairs, the closing of the pier, he said, speaks to the restricting of access to bodies of water for fish enthusiasts across the North Shore and across Long Island.
“Glen Cove is closing that parking lot at 9 or 10 p.m. and most of the fishing that people are trying to do at that pier is for nocturnal fish,” said Sotiryardis, a member of several fishing organizations. “We’re Long Islanders. We choose to live here because we’re surrounded by water and we have access to fishing. But in the last 40 years, as areas off Long Island have become more affluent, people want to limit the access to the water.”
Morgan Island comes to mind when thinking about limited access, he said. There are two legal fishing spots there with no parking on either side of the street.
To prevent more limited access to fishing, he said, the pier should be completed before fishing season begins again in the spring. “On April 15, everyone wants to go out and fish for striped bass,” he said.
It is not clear when the repairs on the pier will be finished.