Schumer Calls For Federal Funds For Breezy Dune
The project was submitted to the City of New York as its top priority to FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The Breezy Point Risk Mitigation Project would cost about $58 million and would consist of the evaluation and construction of a primary and secondary dune system and other protective measures.
“For communities close to the water, dunes and bayside protections are essential first-lines of defense against killer storms. That is why we prioritized federal funding to build dunes and groins, seawalls and more for the rest of the Rockaway Peninsula. And now we must complete that essential line of defense by building a first-class dune and bayside system at Breezy Point, too,” Schumer said in a press release. “Breezy Point residents have been through profound hardship over the past year, so whatever we can do to help this community recover from the storm and build systems that will enable them to avoid similar damage in the future is smart and cost-effective, and that is why New York City has made this project its top priority for the FEMA mitigation program.”
Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and other local politicians are in support of the idea.
Breezy Point was one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Sandy as approximately 215 homes were destroyed by storm surges and 135 homes were destroyed by fire. An additional 2,100 homes were damaged by floodwater. Of the roughly 3,000 families who live in Breezy Point, about half are still not back in their homes.
The project would include a double dune on the ocean side of the community and new protective measures would be added to the bayside. The purpose of the double dune system is to provide sustainable, natural flood and erosion protection utilizing natural protective features such as beaches, dunes, beach vegetation and the barrier island. The dune will be able to withstand the forces associated with a 100-year flood height, as indicated on FEMA’s latest maps, plus sea level rise (2.58 feet) over the life of the project and provide long term, sustainable protection.
The primary dune of the system would survive wave impact while the secondary dune would provide flood protection. A series of flood and erosion protection devises, including baffle walls, T-groins, sheet pile and beach fill would be placed on the bayside.
Breezy Point is excluded from the US Army Corps of Engineers Rockaway Beach project, which ends at Beach 149th Street. There is currently no active federal, state or city flood or protection project in the Breezy Point community.
In his letter to FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, Schumer calls for federal funds to be used for the beach community so that residents can return to a well-protected Breezy Point. The plan supported by Breezy Point Cooperative includes dunes, seawalls, floodwalls and storm water control and pump system.