Lazy Point is a small enclave settlement located away from the mainstream of the Town of East Hampton, situated in an area called Napeague.
In the 1800s, Lazy Point became a community where shacks were constructed to house migrants who worked at the Smith Meal Fish Factory, the processing center of the small fish, menhaden.
By the 1930s and 1940s there had been such an abundance of overfishing that the menhaden were rendered scarce. The result required the Smith Meal Fish Factory to shutter its doors for business in 1969.
Unemployed, some of the migrant workers remained at Lazy Point with the local fishermen and baymen. The basic bare shell shacks and cottages had no heat and were not regulated by the town’s codes for zoning or by the building department.
Today, Lazy Point residents consist of year-round and seasonal owners, the original inhabitants of the small cottages and shacks are long gone. There are approximately fifty homes in Lazy Point that are privately owned. The residents homes are on land that is leased from the East Hampton Town Trustees.
For many years the homeowners leased their land from the Trustees with a year-to-year renewable lease. In April 2019, the Trustees voted to extend the leases to qualified homeowners with a thirty-five-year lease, thus offering stability and the opportunity to seek homeowner’s loans for home improvements to their homes as needed, especially improvements that would help preserve, protect, and up-date/repair their homes that are subject to coastal conditions.
Napeague is a long and narrow low-lying strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Gardiners Bay to the north. In 1938, the ‘Great Hurricane’ flooded the entire area and for a time, made travel to Montauk impossible. The name, Napeague, comes from the Montaukett name for “overflowed by the sea”.
Napeague Harbor is perhaps the cleanest waters on the east end where scallops, oysters, clams, eel grass, and other indigenous marine life thrived for many decades.
As the harbor has amassed drifts of sand from winds, storms, and natural causes, the harbor no longer has an abundance of shellfish. As the harbor became shallower, the waters have warmed, and marine life and eel grass have become scarce or altogether disappeared.
As all coastal communities’ witness, there is an on-going problem of eroding beaches—with proper maintenance of Napeague Harbor the spoil of sand dredged can be redistributed to replenish and renourish the shoreline beaches.
Nearby Hick’s Island is no longer home to shore birds as land animals such as raccoons and other wildlife have taken over. Dredging the harbor inlet would encourage shore birds to return to the island.
Napeague Harbor currently requires maintenance dredging to promote and facilitate better circulation and cooler waters as a result that will revive its potential for growing bi-valves and eel grasses again.
The Trustees seek to accomplish a dredging of Napeague Harbor for its health and preservation that will benefit our community and fisheries.
Fresh Pond in Amagansett on Napeague Bay, often referred to as Gardiner’s Bay, is the location of a favorite beach and swimming area that young children and families are drawn to for crabbing with nets, frogs, bird watching, and overall fun in the stream of water that flows into the bay. During the summer months the Town of East Hampton sponsors sailing instruction classes for young people. Convenient for those who wish to grill and picnic, the site also offers a comfort station and washroom. This beach does not have lifeguards on duty.
The Trustees provide maintenance of the pond and the flow out to the bay which benefits the health of the channel and water quality. We offer the job of dredging to various licensed companies and engineers and in return they submit their bid to perform the work. A permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) must be granted to the Trustees in order to do the dredging and work of the pond and channel.
This past Fall the Trustees retained the services of Drew Bennett of D.B. Bennett Engineering of East Hampton to design the project, write the detailed specs, and secure the required permits. The Trustees then submit the project to various excavation firms for their bids.
Sand removed from the dredging is most often redistributed to areas of the beach that need renourishment due to coastal erosion.
The Trustees also monitor the water quality on a regular basis which informs us of possible harmful algal blooms (HAB) and other during the summer months. Always of the most importance to the Trustees is that the water meets EPA standards that are set to serve to protect the public’s health and safety in recreational swimming areas.
In 2021, the Trustees installed a kayak rack at Fresh Pond that can accommodate eight (8) kayaks. Please visit the Residential Kayak Storage Program page for more information.