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Long Island News

Shelter Island Ferry Adjusts To Climate Change

Courtesy of North Ferry Company

Shelter Island, a small town nestled in the Peconic Bay between Long Island’s Twin Forks, is accessible by two ferries, the North Ferry and the South Ferry companies. There are no bridges to the island.

Stella Lagudis, the North Ferry general manager, said the company plans to lengthen the dock’s ramps to prepare for climate change and higher tides.

“We run 365 days a year, and we run 19 hours, so clearly making sure that we have uninterrupted service is one of our goals.”  

The North Ferry paused operations twice in recent months because of docking difficulties. The tides are higher than normal.

State environmentalists say sea levels will continue to rise 18 to 50 inches by the end of the century. That worries Lagudis.

“If the tides continue to rise and we don’t make any changes to the length of our ramps, then chances are we might have a higher frequency of this happening.”

The ramps are expected to be in place by 2020.