2011-09-02 / Letters

Need More Dunes

Dear Editor,

I am a new, ten year resident of Belle Harbor living on the beach block behind the dunes. I never completely understood the nature of beach loss until now. Irene has changed that.

The tropical storm, acting like a hurricane, showed that a properly constructed dune, which is also self-perpetuating, is the only viable deterrent to loss of beach. Dunes, with their vegetation, gradually change the slope of the beach from flat to a slight incline and that incline saves the shore.

Many areas of sea wall were breached and damaged by the sea during our recent storm....flooding and home damage ensued, but not in areas of properly constructed dunes.

Irene showed that the “center” dunes which were claimed to be improperly constructed and maintained did nothing to stop the tidal surge. They vanished. The remaining dunes of proper construction survived and functioned as a barrier to the sea.

Friends and neighbors and lifelong residents of the Rockaway peninsula remember the day when naturallyoccurring dunes existed from Far Rockaway to Breezy Point. Man has removed these barriers and now every Rockaway peninsula resident faces the peril of loss of beach and home. The peninsula needs properly constructed dunes and foot ramps, as evident in Fort Tilden, to enable all residents uninterrupted access to sand and surf.


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