Sturgeon Point Marina blocked by tons of washed up sand

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TOWN OF EVANS, NY (WIVB) There is a new sand beach at Sturgeon Point, but it wasn’t placed there on purpose. In fact, Town of Evans officials are asking FEMA for aid to get rid of it.

“It’s the worst it’s ever been,” according to boaters like Rich Snyder, who drove up to see the freak of nature. You could call it “Sturgeon Point 2.0”, a huge peninsula of sand that stretches out from shore, blocking the boat entrance to Sturgeon Point Marina. Every year, the Town of Evans has to dredge a certain amount of sand from this area, but nothing this big.

It’s believed to be a result of the same weather factors that pounded Hoover Beach and pummeled the Dunkirk Pier last Halloween when high like levels combined with strong west winds to create a seiche and pushed more water to this shoreline.

“Our intent is to have the marina open by May 15,” said Evans Town Supervisor Mary Hosler, who met with FEMA officials last week to ask for aid as she put out the bid for the big dredging job this spring. “They said just do it as if FEMA wasn’t involved.”

“Each year, more than 4000 boats have to go through that narrow passageway into Sturgeon Point Marina. The town is used to spending about forty or fifty thousand dollars to take away some amount of sand, but this year, that could cost triple to $150,000.

“Every $100,000 we spend is a 1% tax increase to our residents, so I’m very conscious about that. This marina’s been running a deficit for almost four years that I’ve tracked,” said Hosler.

The integrity of the breakwall at the marina is also compromised and water is getting through gaps in those rocks, according to Hosler. “We already have a repair grant for that of $1.2 million. It’s about a $2 million project. We also secured a second grant of $324,000 but we still have to come up with some money ourselves.”

It’s another reason why the Town of Evans is asking for FEMA help for this regional asset.

Rich Snyder drives in from Lakeview to launch his boat there. “Well, this is really the only access to the lake unless you go all the way to the city by the Small Boat Harbor, or if you go to Cattaraugus Creek and launch in the creek there. So, this is really the only access to Lake Erie for a big stretch of shoreline here.”

The Town of Evans is still taking bids on the dredging work which is scheduled to begin in early April. Hosler still expects the marina to open May 15.

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