Three hedge fund managers have taken steps to protect their homes in the Hamptons from the next Hurricane Sandy, angering some neighbors and environmentalists.
Apollo Global Management's Joshua Harris, MHR Fund Management's Mark Rachesky and Shumway Capital Partners' Chris Shumway have built protective barriers in front of their beachside houses, designed to keep floodwaters out. But opponents argue that the barriers will increase beach erosion—and beaches in Southampton, N.Y., are open to the public. The new barriers also obscure the view of the houses from the beach.
"If you build a structure like that, the beach is going to disappear," Robert Young, a coastal geologist hired by the town of Southampton, told The New York Times. "The sea wall is not there to protect the beach. It is there to protect the property behind the beach."
Harris has defended his Gin Lane home with a shield of metal plates, covered by sand, costing nearly $50,000. Rachesky took a similar tack, while Shumway brought in boulders. The three men live on the same half-mile of beach.
The barriers are allowed by a rule New York adopted in the wake of Sandy, allowing bulkheads and beach fortifications to be rebuilt without the sort of procedural requirements generally necessary. A lawyer for Shumway told the Times that his client's protective barrier was approved by both the village and town of Southampton.