Mattituck Mill at Mattituck Creek (by permission Southold Historical Society,
Southold, NY, undated)
Mattituck Inlet is a federally maintained inlet with a channel dredged to 7 ft mlw,
with 2-ft overdraft. The New York District dredges Mattituck Inlet every 10-15 years.
Mattituck Creek is 2.5 miles long and two creeks emerge from it. One, Howard's Creek,
extends to the west and is navigable for its entire length. The other, Long Creek, extends
east and is navigable for about 100 ft beyond its entrance. Mattituck Inlet and Creek
have a surface area of approximately 7,200,000 sq ft, as determined by analysis of an
aerial photograph dated 16 April 2003.
Prior to inlet stabilization, the Mattituck Inlet entrance was narrow, winding, and
shallow (non-navigable). In the Rivers and Harbor Act of 1896, the U.S. Congress
authorized the construction of two jetties to stabilize the inlet and provide reliable
navigation. Work on the jetties commenced in 1901, and construction of the east jetty
was completed in 1906.
Mattituck Inlet has been subject to considerable anthropogenic modification. The first
dredging for channel improvement took place in 1907, and the Federal channel was
completed in 1914 (Ralston 1928). The new work volumes dredged from Mattituck Inlet
and Mattituck Creek are not known. Analysis of New York District condition surveys
indicate that the entire creek had been dredged as of a survey dated August 1913 to April
1914. Mattituck Inlet and Creek were formerly the site of commercial sand and gravel
handling facilities and asphalt tanks. Commercial mining of sand and gravel is known to
have been conducted intermittently within the inlet from 1925 to 1948, under Federal
permit, and mining activities took place on the beach directly west of the west jetty under
Mattituck Park District permit. The beach directly east of Mattituck Inlet has been
nourished by sediment dredged from the inlet. Figure 2-7 displays the approximate
locations of engineering and mining activities in and around Mattituck Inlet.
Chapter 2 Study Area and Physical Setting