West Hampton Dunes
is a village in Suffolk County
, New York
, on the South Shore
of Long Island
. The population was 11 at the 2000 census
West Hampton Dunes is located on a barrier island in the Town of Southampton
. The barrier island was part of Fire Island
until a Nor'easter in 1931 split the island creating Moriches Inlet
. The inlet created a geographic oddity whereby the Town of Brookhaven actually has jurisdiction on land immediately west of West Hampton Dunes although Brookhaven land access to it involves a nearly 20 mile drive through Southampton.
The village incorporated in 1993 in attempt to have more control over its precarious state since it was obliterated in the Great Hurricane of 1938, 1991 Halloween Nor’easter (the "The Perfect Storm") and again in a 1992 Nor'easter.
Specifically, the village wanted to have a say in Army Corps of Engineers handling of the barrier beach -- particularly in response to a series of groynes at Shinnecock Inlet that have created major beach erosion "downstream" in the longshore drift.
Almost immediately after Gary Vegliante, the village's first mayor, sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for $200 million, the Corps settled the suit immediately began replenishing the beach leading to a building boom on what had been a devastated empty section of beach.
The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association named West Hampton Dunes one of America's top restored beaches:
- "West Hampton Dunes represents a blueprint for shoreline restoration and habitat enrichment. At one time the beach was a poster child for coastal mismanagement plagued by erosion and poor responses to destructive storms. No longer. A dedicated corps of local, state and federal officials worked hard to restore its coasts and the fragile wildlife habitat along its shores, making West Hampton Dunes one of our nations premier beaches."
- The shoreline of what is now the Village of West Hampton Dunes began experiencing increased erosion following the construction of a groin fields, set of finger-like extensions from the shoreline, east of the village. This eventually led to extensive over wash and a breach of the barrier island in 1992. Since that time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Suffolk County Department of Public Works and the Village of West Hampton Dunes have worked together to successfully restore the beach, boost public access and safeguard endangered wildlife habitat.
In 2007 resident Yale Nelson finished a documentary on the town history which premiered October 20th, 2007 in Westhampton during the Hamptons Film Festival.
In 1996 West Hampton Dunes was the closest community to the crash of TWA Flight 800 which occurred about 10 miles due south of it although news reports were to focus on the much larger communities across Moriches Bay which provided the water response.
West Hampton Dunes is located at (40.774871, -72.717624).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²), of which, 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) of it (60.47%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 11 people, 7 households, and 3 families residing in the village. The population density
was 32.2 people per square mile (12.5/km²). There were 172 housing units at an average density of 503.6/sq mi (195.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 90.91% White
and 9.09% Asian
There were 7 households out of which none had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples living together, and 42.9% were non-families. 42.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 28.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.57 and the average family size was 2.00.
In the village the population was spread out with 18.2% from 25 to 44, 36.4% from 45 to 64, and 45.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 58 years. For every 100 females there were 266.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 266.7 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $67,083, and the median income for a family was $127,308. Males had a median income of $32,083 versus $0 for females. The per capita income for the village was $57,150. None of the population and none of the families were below the poverty line.