2012-04-06 / Community

Beach Restoration A Common Goal

Congressman Bob Turner commended Mayor Michael Bloomberg for sending a letter to Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Peter Viclosky of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development to secure funds to complete the Rockaway Beach Reformulation Study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg for lending his voice to this issue. This is not just a matter of restoring our beaches to their natural beauty, which has merit in its own right, but is a matter of safety,” Turner said. “Mayor Bloomberg is no stranger to matters of safety and security, and I am glad he is helping push the House to allocate the necessary funds for the Army Corps to take care of this necessary project.”

Rockaway Beach and Rockaway Peninsula are home to 170 acres of beach and three federally managed sites that fall under the auspices of Gateway National Recreation Area. Due to compounded damage from years of storms, the peninsula was restored via two major construction projects between 1977 and 2003. As these projects were being carried out, it became clear that there is a need for a long-term conservation plan to continually replenish the eroding shoreline.

Congressman Turner has been actively engaged in the issue since taking office in September. He has met multiple times, both in his district office and in Washington, with Col. John R. Boule, Commander, New York District Army Corps of Engineers, and held a meeting with CB 14 Chairperson Dolores Orr and District Manager Jonathan Gaska in his district office. He has had discussions on the issue with New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Gateway National Recreation Area Superintendent Linda Canzanelli.

“I have been working on this issue since day one, and I will continue to push for it until the Army Corps has the proper funding it needs to see this project through. There has been significant progress on this issue since I took office 6 months ago, but there is still much that can be done,” Turner said. “With proper attention from our public servants, continued support from local community groups and civic leaders, and Col. Boule and his staff, I see no reason why this project’s completion can’t become a reality.”

The study was drafted in 2004 to put together a cost-effective solution to this continual erosion problem on the Rockaway Peninsula. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Reformulation Study can be completed in two years if fully funded in the amount of $1.6 million.

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