On 13 August 1962, proceedings by the Suffolk County Board of Supervisors
approved funding for "... the construction of a stone jetty for beach protection on Long
Island Sound at Goldsmith Inlet." A request by the New York State Department of
Public Works (NYSDPW 1963) to construct a jetty at Goldsmith Inlet was approved by
the New York District on 12 September 1963. An attached drawing plan of the proposed
jetty by the NYSDPW lists the project as "Beach Protection Project 192." On the same
day, a press release by the NYSDPW announced the receipt of a low-contract bid "for
beach protection work at Goldsmith Inlet." A memorandum from the NYSDEC, dated
15 May 1979, states "The purpose of the jetty was to maintain the opening at Goldsmith
Inlet and to allow for future development of the Town's recreational facilities."
Available literature on the construction of the jetty at Goldsmith Inlet and its subsequent
impact on the adjacent shoreline cite beach protection and the construction of a marina at
Goldsmith Inlet as the motivation for jetty construction (Leatherman 1996;1 Greenman-
Pederson Associates 1981).
Construction of a marina at Goldsmith Inlet was still being considered in 1967. The
transcript of the workshop proceedings indicates that this remained true as of 1973.
Documentation for this date was not, however, provided. A letter dated 30 January 1967
from the Town of Southold Office of the Supervisor to the NYSDPW requests assistance
in procuring state funding to further this aim: "It is the intention of the County Board of
Supervisors to open Goldsmith's Inlet as a harbor of refuge off Long Island Sound and it
is necessary at this time to construct a jetty on the east side of the inlet, as well as
providing for beach stabilization on the east side." It is not known whether this request
was made as part of a continuing plan to develop Goldsmith Inlet into a marina, dating
back to the construction of the west jetty, or as a new initiative. The east jetty was never
built, and the project was never completed.
Construction of the jetty was completed in 1964. The cost of construction was
divided equally between New York State and Suffolk County (Town of Southold 1996).
Leatherman (1996) cites a jetty length of 400 ft and Dean (1996),2 in his
recommendations to the Town of Southold, puts the length of the jetty at 460 ft. Original
documents (New York District 1963) and subsequent literature (NYSDEP 1987)3
indicate that the length of the jetty is 310 ft. From analysis of aerial photographs from
1964 to 2003, the present authors conclude that the jetty length is greater than 310 ft,
although a definitive length could not be determined without excavation.
Goldsmith Inlet and Goldsmith Pond have no direct water-dependent uses. The water
quality is considered to be environmentally acceptable at present, but the pond has been
closed for shell fishing since 1996 owing to high bacteria counts. The high coliform
bacteria counts are thought to originate from a stream that discharges into the inlet and
from Autumn Pond, a 1.5-acre pond located to the west that is connected via a drainage
pipe. Non-point sources such as road runoff, septic tanks, and waterfowl waste reduce
Leatherman. (1996). op cit p. 9.
Dean, R. G. (1996). "Beach erosion control and recommendations," in Report of the Workshop Examining
Erosion of the Coastal Barrier Landform Between Duck Point and Horton Point, Town of Southold, NY,
Appendix II-B1, unpublished report.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). (1987). "Coastal erosion
reconnaissance study," in Report of the workshop examining erosion of the coastal barrier landform between
Duck Pond Point and Horton Point, Town of Southold, NY, unpublished report.
Chapter 2 Study Area and Physical Setting