2008-11-14 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Storm Damage … 1973 … Beach 90 Street, Holland
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

The storms of the winter months in 1972-73 devastated the beachfront of the Rockaways, severely eroding away the beach and damaging the ocean boardwalk in selected areas.

Today's view shows the damage to the ramp, at about Beach 90 Street, in the Holland section of the peninsula.

You will notice how the beach was cut at this site, due to the stone groins in the right background. As is always the case, the west side of a stone groin is washed away, while the east side gathers sand.

The whole of Long Island, of which the Rockaways is a part, needs more groins from Montauk Point west to Rockaway Point and Coney Island … but … the authorities state that it is cheaper to fill in the beaches (oops! I mean to nourish) every ten years or so, rather than incurring the expenses of continuous groin building on the whole of Long Island.

Since 1973 the beachfront has been restored several times, only to be washed away in a matter of hours by storm(s).

Residents are chanting to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers … "Where's the Beach?" The answer is simply west of Rockaway Point and down the seacoast to New Jersey.

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