On behalf of the Peconic Land Trust, E2PM was obtained to prepare a Comprehensive Floodplain Restoration Plan along with several construction management and ecological services for the restoration of the 4.6 acre Forge River Preserve in Mastic, New York, that was damaged from floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 

This peninsula directly on Forge River in Mastic Beach was acquired by the Trust in 2014.   Located within the peninsula are a single-family residence, detached garage, boathouse, bulkhead and looped driveway. It contains sensitive wetlands, wildlife habitat, and migration routes.  The property and its structures were badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The US Department of Agriculture, through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, began allocating funds to purchase conservation easements from landowners affected by Hurricane Sandy and other major natural disasters through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program.  From these funds, the Trust was able to begin the demolition of the existing structures and restoration of the Forge River Preserve to its natural state.

E2PM was initially contracted to prepare a Comprehensive Floodplain Restoration Plan.  The peninsula is in a low-lying area prone to flooding which created the need for a comprehensive floodplain restoration plan that will mitigate these issues.  This plan was a multi-faceted effort implemented through a series of tasks to remove and demolish all existing man-made structures and return the property to its original state.  E2PM completed several ecological and construction management tasks to implement this plan throughout several phases of this project to allow for a collaborative and proactive involvement by the Peconic Land Trust, NRCS and other key stakeholders.

Phase I tasks included Site Investigations and Analysis, Data Collection and Assessments; Conceptual Design and Floodplain Restoration Plan;  Agency Coordination and Permitting; NEPA Documentation and Compliance; Demolition and Detailed Engineering Plans; Acquisition of Land Easement; Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement; Post-construction monitoring and maintenance. 

Phase II tasks involved the implementation of the Final Comprehensive Shoreline Restoration Plan, including site analysis to determine whether living shoreline stabilization is appropriate in a particular area; evaluation of bank erosion rate and elevation, wave energy, prevailing wind and wave direction, vegetation, and soil type; permit approval and regulatory compliance; demolition and site preparation; installation of living shoreline treatments (planting riparian, marsh, and submerged aquatic vegetation, organic materials such as bio-logs and organic fiber mats); constructing oyster reefs or “living breakwaters” that dissipate wave energy before it reaches the shore.  

E2PM also performed post-construction monitoring and maintenance to gather information on the success of the project for the purpose of improving the construction and implementation of future efforts. Maintenance activities included debris removal, replanting vegetation, adding additional sand fill, and ensuring that the organic and structural materials remain in place and continue to stabilize the shoreline.

As shared in an August 2021 Peconic Land Trust article, “The Trust recently completed a floodplain restoration of the Forge River Preserve……Restoration began in 2018, when the house and other structures on the property were removed. Additional steps included invasive species removal and control from upland and shoreline areas. Beach grass and other native plants including bayberry and bluestem have been planted.”

For full details regarding the history of this property and the reason for this project and E2PM’s highlighted role from the Peconic Land Trust, view their article here.  The complete project is highlighted here.