2012-03-16 / Top Stories

Funding Cut For Beach Study

By Nicholas Briano


During weather systems such as Hurricane Irene, the beach literally gets washed away in some places. During weather systems such as Hurricane Irene, the beach literally gets washed away in some places. After every major storm, when the beach suffers millions in erosion damage, politicians would tell residents not to worry because a tenyear study is currently taking place to address the long term issues associated with storm protection. Well, the funding for that study, which was about two years away from completion, has been cut off.

In 2003 it was determined that the need to continually re-nourish the eroding shoreline demanded a comprehensive long term protection plan. This led to the Rockaway Beach Reformulation Study with the objective of finding a long term, cost-effective solution to the effects of continued erosion on the Rockaway peninsula.

The study, which began in 2004, was lobbied for by former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who along with Senator Charles Schumer, ensured funding was channeled to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who are responsible for the study.

Congressman Bob Turner met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials in December, when they discussed ways to work together to secure the federal funding needed to complete the local projects such as this beach study. However, at the end of 2011 the funding expired, thus delaying the study’s completion.

According to a joint release by Schumer and New York State Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder, it’s vital to keep the project moving by maintaining appropriate funding. Further serious damage to the coast from Hurricane Irene last August has made the Rockaway Beach Study more important than ever.

“We need to restore funding to the Rockaway Beach Study immediately,” Schumer said. “This project has made great progress in the last several years toward ensuring the safety of Rockaway’s beaches and neighborhoods. Allowing the coast to deteriorate further would put these communities at risk for serious damage. Irene taught us that we must always be prepared for the worst. If we do not restore this funding, we’re making a gamble that could ultimately cost residents their homes and businesses.”

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