Aerial view of opening in barrier island and sandy bay islands.

Breach Management Plan

Learn more about the Breach Management Plan/EIS. (Photo: USFWS/G. Thompson)

A woman walks with a small GPS unit at the edge of the water.

Science of the Wilderness Breach

Soon after the wilderness breach was created, the National Park Service and partners began studying it.


What is a breach?

Breaches are channels connecting ocean to bay which form during powerful storms. Like the shoreline and dunes, breaches are dynamic barrier island features.

Tracking Breach Change

Since the occurrence of the wilderness breach, the National Park Service (NPS) has worked with its partners to monitor the breach, which is a relatively stable but dynamic natural feature.

How are breaches managed?

Two of the three breaches which opened during Hurricane Sandy on the barrier islands along Long Island's south shore were closed immediately after the storm. The NPS is in the process of making a decision on how best to manage the third which occurred in Fire Island National Seashore's wilderness. The National Park Service will release for public review a Draft Fire Island Wilderness Breach Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate alternatives for managing the wilderness breach.

Last updated: March 31, 2017

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