West Hampton Dunes, New York

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{household, population, female}
{township, household, population}
{build, building, house}
{area, community, home}
{law, state, case}
{water, park, boat}
{village, small, smallsup}
{film, series, show}
{line, north, south}
{service, military, aircraft}
{town, population, incorporate}
{mi², represent, 1st}

West Hampton Dunes is an incorporated village in Suffolk County, New York, U.S., on the South Shore of Long Island. The population was 11 at the 2000 census, making it the least populated municipality in the state of New York.



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 U.S. 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 incorporation, Gary Vegliante, the village's first and to date only mayor, sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for $200 million. The Corps settled the suit and began replenishing the beach leading to a building boom on what had been a devastated empty section of beach.[3]

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association named West Hampton Dunes one of America's top restored beaches.[4] In 2007, resident Yale Nelson finished a documentary on the town history which premiered October 20, 2007 in Westhampton at 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.


In 1996, the village under the authority of a court order, formed a law enforcement agency to better serve the needs of the community. The West Hampton Dunes Police Constabulary consists of approximately 10 members including a department chief and sergeant. The members are certified as peace officers with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and are trained at either the Suffolk Police and/or Suffolk Sheriffs academy. The members of the department also receive the required DCJS courses for peace officers to perform traffic enforcement duties including Radar/LIDAR, Standard Field Sobriety, Basic Crash Management, etc.

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