2013-01-18 / Community

Rockaway Waterfront Alliance Tours Peninsula


Landscape architect Walter Meyer uses the beach to illustrate points on the RWA’s post-Sandy tour of the Rockaway area. (Photo by Dan Guarino) Landscape architect Walter Meyer uses the beach to illustrate points on the RWA’s post-Sandy tour of the Rockaway area. (Photo by Dan Guarino) On Friday January 11th, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance hosted a tour of the Rockaways focused on environmental resiliency.

The tour was part of the Municipal Art Society of New York Conference: Charting the Road to Resilience: From the Ground Up.

Renowned scientist Klaus Jacob and Landscape Architect Walter Meyer led the tour as participants were brought to various parts of the peninsula to see the physical conditions of the Rockaways that put the Peninsula at such risk in Hurricane Sandy.

Robert Proos of the Dutch consulate was also on the tour to discuss methods their government has used to create a system of dikes and dunes to protect their shoreline and cities.

The tour group included urban planners, architects, students, journalists, residents of the Rockaways and Broad Channel, artists, concerned citizens from other parts of New York, community activists, environmental experts and others.

Many were seeing for themselves the damage done by Sandy for the first time.

Much of what was discussed would help to inform the community of measures that could be taken through local efforts.

Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association (BBPA) President Richard George, also on the tour, discussed efforts he led nearly ten years ago, to plant the dunes with pitch pine trees and natural vegetation, which he said singlehandedly saved the bungalows in the Beach 20's in Storm Sandy.

This was one of the few places in the peninsula where the ocean waters did not breach the planted dunes.

George showed his own largely untouched bungalow home as an example of this.

Said an RWA spokesperson, “The next storm they may not be so lucky as much of the dune protection will need to be reinforced.”

RWA will be doing a series of discussions hosted by experts on environmental resiliency with local community members starting on Sunday January 20th, from 1-3 p.m., at Ocean Village.

Klaus Jacob and Walter Meyer will be leading the discussion. (See related story on page 6.)

Details on future workshops can be found at the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance website at www.rwalliance.org

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