Stone Revetment is Part of $44 Million Shoreline Revitalization Effort Supported with Federal and State Funds
Additional $435,000 in State Funding Helped Complete Project to Protect Historic Lighthouse Tower and Restore Keeper’s Residence
Drone Footage Available Here
Governor Kathy Hochul, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New York District, Montauk Historical Society, and other partners today celebrated the reopening of the newly restored Montauk Point Lighthouse and completion of a major coastal resiliency project to protect the historic lighthouse and associated cultural resources. The landmark, located on the easternmost point of Long Island, underwent an extensive multi-year renovation and will be significantly protected from waves and coastal storms due to a new stone revetment that will prevent erosion and degradation of the site.
“Extreme storms can have a devastating impact on so many communities and resources, especially here at the coastal Montauk Lighthouse complex,” Governor Hochul said. “New York State is proud to complete this project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement this critical shoreline resiliency project so that the beautifully renovated lighthouse buildings and grounds are protected and enjoyed for generations to come."
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District Commander Colonel Alexander Young said, "Completion of this project is a major milestone on a number of levels due to the historic nature of the facility and it's place in the community as well as American history. The Montauk Point Lighthouse has a played a key role in serving the maritime community for decades and the work done here by a very talented group of individuals from top to bottom will ensure it remains a symbol of American strength and ingenuity for years to come. I'd like to thank all of our partners at the federal, state, and local levels for their support. We couldn't have done it without them."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) coastal storm damage risk management project included the reconstruction of approximately 1,000 linear feet of stone revetment, including removal and reuse of existing armor stones, and delivery and placement of new armor stones weighing anywhere between 10-20 tons apiece. The project is designed to protect the historic Montauk Point lighthouse, complex, bluff area and associated cultural resources by stabilizing the site and protecting it from future coastal storms.
The cost of the overall effort to restore and protect the historical landmark was approximately $44 million, which included the award of a construction contract to H&L Contracting of Bayshore in 2021. The project was cost shared between USACE and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). DEC allocated $15.4 million in NY Works funding as the project's non-federal sponsor. The local sponsor, the Montauk Historical Society, will maintain the site for continued use as a tourism attraction and educational center.
The Montauk Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York State, authorized in 1792 by the Second Congress under President George Washington. Construction was completed in November 1796, and it was designated a National Historic Landmark on March 5, 2012. The lighthouse is on the Federal and State Registers of Historic Places.
The Montauk Point Lighthouse was constructed approximately 300 feet from the original edge of the bluff, which became increasingly less stable over the years, leaving it extremely vulnerable to coastal storm erosion and significant damage.
New York State is proud to complete this project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement this critical shoreline resiliency project so that the beautifully renovated lighthouse buildings and grounds are protected and enjoyed for generations to come."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC is proud to partner with USACE to provide long-term protection for the Montauk Point Lighthouse from coastal erosion and future storm events. Climate change remains a real challenge for coastal communities, increasing the frequency of extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy and resulting in more intense storm surge and coastal flooding. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, DEC is continuing to work with local federal, state, and local partners to support resiliency initiatives and helping communities become better prepared for when the next big storm hits.”
Concerned Citizens for Montauk Chairman David Freudenthal said, "CCOM, as the leading environmental organization in Montauk for the past 53 years, thanks Governor Hochul for drawing public attention to the urgent risk faced by our vulnerable shoreline in the face of climate change and sea level rise. CCOM is committed to working with our partners in government on responses to the imminent danger to our community. CCOM has been working with East Hampton Town and New York State since 2014 to develop a comprehensive long-term solution for Montauk’s coastline, including adoption in 2021 of the Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan. We look forward to the delivery later this year of the sand nourishment for Montauk's downtown beaches as part of the Federal Fire Island to Montauk Point plan to offer medium-term coastal stabilization."
Historic Lighthouse Restoration Project
In addition to the completion of the shoreline stabilization work, the Montauk Historical Society completed $2 million in renovations to the historic lighthouse and keeper’s residence. The lighthouse restoration work was undertaken concurrent with the revetment work and supported by more than $435,000 in New York State funding.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) awarded a $313,500 historic preservation grant and Empire State Development awarded a $125,000 Capital Grant, recommended by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council in support of the Montauk Point Lighthouse as a premier historical, cultural, and recreational destination. The funding, from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), addressed damage to the lighthouse tower’s stone façade and secured the long-term structural integrity of the historic structure.
Additional private funds were secured by the Montauk Historical Society to help support the restoration of the 1796 lighthouse tower, 1860 keeper’s residence, and the newly refurbished Oceans Institute, a museum focusing on the health of the ocean. Among the new features is an interactive virtual aquarium that is filled with local sea creatures, from scallops to whales.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “We are thrilled to be able to help preserve the iconic Montauk Lighthouse. It is one of the key historic destinations not only in New York State but our nation and we congratulate all those who worked hard to keep it standing for generations to come.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The Montauk Point Lighthouse stands tall once more as a monument to our past and a destination for cultivating connections to Long Island's coastal culture. Its restoration is a testament to New York State's dedication to preserving the legacy of this national landmark and fostering moments of joy, learning, and connection for all who visit this iconic shoreline symbol."
Empire State Development Board Chairman Kevin Law said, "With the reopening of the renovated Montauk Point Lighthouse, a beacon of history and culture on Long Island illuminates once more. New York State takes great pride in providing a place where families, history enthusiasts, and cultural explorers can come together and create cherished memories that will shine far into the future."
Long Island REDC Co-Chairs Linda Armyn, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Bethpage Federal Credit Union, and Dr. John Nader, President of Farmingdale State College, said, "We proudly join Governor Hochul to celebrate the renovation of the Montauk Point Lighthouse. This restoration brings new life to a historical gem, highlighting New York State’s dedication to education, tourism, and preserving our iconic lighthouses as an enduring national landmark."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “We have come a long way since 1796, and so has the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse. It was slipping ever closer to the Atlantic’s waters, but with urgent federal funds and construction complete, the shoreline protections needed to keep this beacon of Long Island pride and tourism shining for years to come have been restored. I thank Governor Hochul, New York State DEC, and Suffolk County for their partnership, and of course the Army Corps of Engineers for its diligent work over many years to secure this magnificent structure. Now, one of our great jewels shining proudly on Long Island’s coastal crown will remain in place for years to come, and it ‘shore’ is pretty.”
State Senator Anthony Palumbo said, "The Montauk lighthouse is an important symbol of the region's maritime history and a beacon for the East End's tourism and fishing industries. I applaud the efforts of our state and federal partners in protecting and preserving this historic landmark for future generations of New Yorkers and for visitors from around the world."
Assemblymember Fred W. Thiele Jr. said, “The Montauk Lighthouse has been the iconic symbol of Long Island for generations. The completion of this revetment project will ensure the integrity of this historic beacon for future residents and visitors to enjoy. I was pleased to play a role in the public/private partnership that made this project possible by passing needed legislation many years ago in the State Legislature. My congratulations to the Montauk Historical Society for their vision and advocacy in seeing this project to its successful completion.”
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, “The Montauk Lighthouse, where the sun first rises on New York State, is not only an iconic symbol for New York but is a cherished landmark in the Town of East Hampton, representing a part of our nautical history stemming back to the early days of our nation. Thanks to major federal and New York State funding, and the efforts of the Montauk Historical Society, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the contractors who completed this massive project of restoring the stone revetment that protects it, the lighthouse will be here for generations to come,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc.
Montauk Historical Society President Joseph Gaviola said, “The Montauk Historical Society is deeply grateful to Governor Hochul, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and the Federal, State, and Local Agencies, for the new Revetment that will protect the Montauk Lighthouse for generations to come. This is seminal, multi-generational work and a wonderful example of a Public/Private Partnership that worked to preserve Long Island’s historic and iconic structure. As stewards of the oldest lighthouse in New York, a National Historic Landmark commissioned by George Washington, this is a dream come true.”
Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties President Matthew Aracich said, "I commend Governor, Kathy Hochul, as well as U.S. Senators, Chuck Schumer, and Kirsten Gillibrand for taking the necessary steps to protect one of Long Island's most prized possessions, the Montauk Point Lighthouse. The Montauk Point Lighthouse is more than a beacon of light that has guided mariners for 227 years, it is a National Historic Landmark and is synonymous with Long Island. Our skilled trades members are proud to have done their part in restoring this project to its former glory utilizing the expertise of a local union labor workforce. Today, it is evident that we must continue to pursue new initiatives in green energy that provide sound investments while simultaneously protecting our coastline from erosion and maintaining this beautiful Island we all call home."
Long Island Association President & CEO Matt Cohen said, “The Montauk Lighthouse is not only a national and state landmark, but is also emblematic of the resiliency, heroism, and strength of Long Islanders. The completion of the renovations will ensure that future generations will be inspired by its history and it will remain an important economic asset.”
New York State continues to commit record resources to support community resiliency and environmental protection. Among the many environmental victories in the 2023-24 State Budget, Governor Hochul maintained EPF funding at $400 million, the highest level of funding in the program's history. In addition, the landmark Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act is the largest environmental bond in state history and the first in New York since 1996. The Bond Act will make $4.2 billion available for environmental and community projects, including at least $1.1 billion for restoration and flood risk reduction and at least $650 million for water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure. For more information, go to ny.gov/BondAct.
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