2012-07-27 / Top Stories

More Sand Replenishment Money Allocated

By Nicholas Briano

Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder (left) and John Cori (right) at a “Demand the Sand” rally in May. Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder (left) and John Cori (right) at a “Demand the Sand” rally in May. After months of writing letters, public meeting testimonies and marches on the beach by community residents, the Bloomberg administration has agreed this week to provide $3 million in city funding for sand replenishment along Rockaway Beach, which was severely damaged last summer during Hurricane Irene.

Despite the beach population thriving along the peninsula there has been a need for sand replenishment since last year. Back in May, with the help of Senator Charles Schumer, Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder announced that the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to allocate $4.5 million for hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of new sand. That money was used to replace sand from Beach 26 Street to Beach 36 Street which was also hard hit by last year’s storm.

There was still a need, however, to provide more sand in the vicinity of Beach 92 Street and that’s where this money distributed by New York City will go. The work will be performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by dredging the East Rockaway inlet.

“This is a huge victory for Rockaway residents living in constant fear of surging water,” Goldfeder said in a statement. “I thank Mayor Bloomberg for heeding our calls to give local families and businesses the protection and peace of mind they deserve.”

Recently Goldfeder and other local politicians joined the local group “Friends of Rockaway Beach” for a massive rally to demand sand for the beaches. The group, fronted by John Cori, has been lobbying on behalf of the community for months, putting pressure on elected officials to fund the sand replenishment.

The sand replenishment is only a temporary fix while the community waits for the completion of a 10-year beach study that isn’t scheduled to be finished until 2014 at the earliest. In addition, the project isn’t eligible for additional funding until 2013, according to Congressman Bob Turner. The project, he has said, can only be completed in the next two years if the additional funding is secured in 2013 to finish it.

Until that day comes, millions are being spent to pump sand and dump it on the beach every year while residents wait for it to be washed away during the next big storm to hit peninsula. The purpose of The Rockaway Beach Reformulation Study is to develop a more permanent solution to the erosion problem with the possibility of strategically placing additional jetties along the beach.

The replenishment will most likely start at the beginning of the winter season.

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