How nice it is when all of Surfrider’s areas of focus can be worked on in a single campaign? Well it isn’t nice, it just means that someone has come up with particularly bad idea. Such is the case with the plans for the East Deck Motel property in East Hampton, NY. The modest 30 room motel that has been and unchanged for decades would be turned into a private beach club and expanded to add 31,000 square feet for rooms, a restarant, bar, event space, Olympic Size swimming pool, deck, and septic capacity for 537 people. All of Surfrider's issues are on the line.
Water Quality, check - the Eastern LI Chapter has been testing water quality at this location and some of the news is not good. Septic systems from this area properties are likely to blame.
Beach Access, check - the property does go down to the mean high water line and if the new owners wanted to they could restrict that access. NY State Law unfortunately allows it. With a members-only club planned from the onset, this does not look good for beach access.
Coastal Preservation, check - this area was already impacted by Hurricane Sandy and nearby owners took advantage of the “emergency” and illegally dropped rocks on the edge of their properties, sometimes on the beach. It is only a matter of time for this property to do the same.
Special Places, check - it doesn’t get much more special than Ditch Plains. An iconic and reliable surf spot frequented by world travelers, working class locals, millionaire surfers and millionaires who wished they could surf.
Photos: Dalton Portella - Overview of Ditch Plans with hundreds on the beach during Hands Across the Sand 2010. East Deck Motel at middle right.