Pols Announce Money For Beach Replenishment
Two local Democratic politicians have allocated money to replenish the sand removed from Rockaway beaches by Hurricane Irene at the end of last summer.
The two, Senator Charles E. Schumer and Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder, announced on Wednesday that, after pressure from their offices, the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to allocate $4.5 million to fund dredging at the East Rockaway Inlet and then to place dredged sand on storm-eroded Rockaway Beach.
The two say that the action is necessary a result of severe storm damage to the beach, most recently after Hurricane Irene, which has put the homes and safety of Rockaway residents at risk.
In addition, they say, offshore, vital channels are clogging with sand, and without dredging, the East Rockaway Inlet’s vital channels will clog up and threaten safe passage for boaters, anglers and emergency response, as well as the viability of the commercial shipping industry.
Schumer and Goldfeder called on the Army Corps last week to reprogram funding to dredge the East Rockaway Inlet, and then to work with New York City Parks Department to restore Rockaway Beach with dredged sand from the Inlet, which can protect both Rockaway residents and this vital recreational boating and commercial shipping channel.
“This is a huge victory for Rockaway residents who will finally receive relief from dangerous erosion that threatens their homes and livelihoods” said Schumer. “I want to thank the Army Corps of Engineers for stepping up to the plate by delivering these much needed funds. I look forward to work getting underway on this project that will protect residents and also ensure that boats, anglers, emergency responders and commercial ships can continue to use the channel.”
“I am pleased that the Army Corps of Engineers has responded to our request to fully fund the dredging at the East Rockaway Inlet, more importantly, about the potential for the dredged sand to be placed on Rockaway Beaches,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “It is crucial that we get a commitment from the New York City Parks Department to move the dredged sand to the area of our beach where it is needed most, to ensure the safety and livelihoods of our residents and businesses. The waters are getting dangerously close to our homes and if we do not act immediately we may no longer have a boardwalk or even a neighborhood to enjoy.
Schumer and Goldfeder noted that The Army Corps has had a long history of working to protect East Rockaway Inlet and Rockaway Beach. East Rockaway Inlet was authorized as a federal navigation project in 1930. At Rockaway Beach the Corps designed, constructed and maintained the beach under two major construction projects from 1977 until 2004. The Rockaway Beach Reformulation Study, with the objective of finding a long term, costeffective solution to the effects of continued erosion on the Rockaway peninsula, is currently ongoing. In March Senator Schumer and Assemblyman Goldfeder called on the Army Corps to continue funding the Reformulation Study which is about 2 years from completion.