2007-07-27 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Yo! Will We Ever Get The Stone Groins We Need To Save Our Beaches?
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev,Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S.Locke

Many times in the past, Historical Views has stressed the point that stone groins are needed from Montauk Point, Long Island, westward to the beaches at Coney Island, Brooklyn…. in order to save all of the barrier beaches on the south shore of Long Island.

In case you are wondering, Rockaway Beach and Coney Island are a part of that Long Island barrier beach system, as the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens are on western Long Island.

The Army Corps of Engineers has touted this statement many times, as the need for stone groins for the entire length of Long Island, after it was found that beaches to the west of the last stone groin constructed (out on the island) washed away at an alarming rate!

The Stone Hook jetty at Atlantic Beach has the same effect on the beaches of Edgemere and Arverne. Sand fill-ins from the east Rockaway inlet dredge operations do not last very long against erosion after being deposited on Far Rockaway, Edgemere, and Arverne beaches.

The last stone groin in the Hammels section helps to wash away beaches to the west, and the stone groin at Beach 149th Street did the same to Riis Park beaches when first installed.

These are just two examples in Rockaway!

This postcard view is a perfect example of sand being collected on one side of a Jetty (wood or stone) however this is not east/west, but north/south, below Ebbets Avenue on Staten Island, at the Oakwood Beach area of Great Kills Park, Gateway National Recreation area.

We, on Long Island, are not alone!

But in the infinite wisdom of all the powers that be, it is much cheaper to fill in the beaches every ten years or so, rather than go through the bigger expense of building all those groins along Long Island's shore, and down Staten Island to Raritan Bay, (and beyond.) What say you folks?

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