Climate Change May Force Montauk Businesses To Move Inland

Dec 10, 2018

Environmentalists and East End residents on Long Island showed support for a proposal at a public hearing last week to move Montauk’s businesses inland.  

The study details the long-term plan for the town’s five hamlets in the face of climate change, soil erosion and rising sea levels.

Kevin McAllister, founder of Defend H2O, an environmental organization, said the plan is a good start but it may need to go further.

“At some juncture, if we’re delaying relocation because of unwillingness, the tough love would be compelling, moving through eminent domain.”

Henry Uihlein, who owns a marina in Montauk, pushed for a small delay to give people more time to understand the study. He said a strategic retreat just means more retreating in the future.

“I don’t think it’s gonna help. What’s it gonna do to stop the ocean from coming there. Say you move the hotels, what’ll help? The sand that’s in front of them?”

The report doesn’t specify which businesses would need to move inland, but some residents said that Montauk infrastructure would also need to be moved to higher ground.

The board voted to keep the record open for 30 days for community input before beginning an environmental review of the study.