Sierra Magazine, the outlook beyond then is even bleaker if the Antarctic ice sheets collapse due to global warming.Related: Rare footage of Fire Island gay wedding offers a peek at pre-Stonewall era LGBTQ lifeThe Army Corps of Engineers is currently engaged in a $1.7 billion project to address the urgent issues threatening the island’s beaches, dunes and homes.

But Sierra writer Jimmy Tobias notes that, “in the long run they may only delay the inevitable—the eventual loss of Fire Island as a place fit for human habitation.”The island’s rare grove of holly trees, the sunken forest, is already disappearing fast. “It is all eroding, it is eroding at a super rapid rate, at a scary rate, at a rate that is actually depressing.

We have lost 30 to 40 percent [of the sunken forest] over the last 50 years,” said National Park Service wildlife biologist Jordan Raphael.Raphael predicts increasingly stronger storms and rising sea levels will transform the island into a group of smaller, more vulnerable ones.Related: PHOTOS: Travel back to vintage Fire Island with “Hot Rods” photo book“People are going to hang on as long as they can, and I can’t blame them for that.