2013-10-04 / Top Stories

Pols Urge Army Corps to Hurry Up

Rockaway wants protection and it wants it now, but there’s a bit of a conflict between the Army Corps of Engineers and the New York City Department of Parks. Senator Charles Schumer and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder have urged the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the completion of their Rockaway Beach study so that the Parks Department can follow through with rebuilding and protection plans.

The New York City Department of Parks recently unveiled plans to rebuild the boardwalk after Sandy. Residents were told that there is currently no plan to include a seawall as adding a seawall may mean that the Army Corps will not provide jetties and dunes as a result of a cost/benefit analysis. Schumer and Goldfeder have urged the Army Corps to finish their protection study quickly so that the plans for the boardwalk can be incorporated into the feds’ long-term protection measures along the beach, such as a seawall.

“The first priority must be the safety and security of our families and homes. Our community has been demanding protective ocean barriers including, dunes and rock jetties for too long,” Goldfeder said. “Every agency involved in Sandy recovery must coordinate their efforts and work together to provide the best options for communities still picking up the pieces.”

“Rockaway and its residents must not be left vulnerable in the event of a future storm and that’s why I’ve pushed so hard for the Army Corps to study mitigation measures needed along our coastline,” Schumer said. “Now that New York City’s plans for the Rockaway boardwalk are underway, the Army Corps should fasttrack their study so that New York City is aware of what protections will be put in place. We need a sea wall, jetties and dunes so that Rockaway is protected from future destruction and I pledge to work alongside Assemblyman Goldfeder and fight for these much-needed protection measures.”

The Army Corps Rockaway Beach study is taking place along the shoreline on the Rockaway Peninsula, from Beach 149th Street to Beach 19th Street. From1977 until 2004, the Corps of Engineers designed, constructed and maintained the project under two major construction projects. Because of the high costs, the Corps was directed to “reformulate” the original plan, with the objective of finding a long term, cost-effective solution (potentially including dunes, stone-groins and other protective measures) to staunch the effects of continued erosion on the Rockaway peninsula. In March, Schumer announced that, after his push, the federal Sandy relief funding would be used for the entire project and study.

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