The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation unveiled its plans to rebuild the boardwalk after it was destroyed by Sandy almost a year ago. The plans, however, do not include a seawall along Rockaway Beach – something the coastline community has been requesting for years.
“The first priority must be the safety and security of our families and homes,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder. “Our community has been demanding protective ocean barriers, including dunes and rock jetties for too long.”
Currently, the Army Corps of Engineers is performing a Rockaway Protection Study, including long-term protection measures, using a cost/benefit analysis to determine how to rebuild the devastated area. Now, Goldfeder and Senator Charles Schumer are calling on the group to expedite the study so these measures, such as a seawall and jetties, can be put in place as soon as possible.
Schumer said there is a “real concern” about coordinating long-term storm protection between Parks and the Army Corps and that a new, federally-funded boardwalk is able to accommodate these protection measures.
Additionally, if the Parks Department does include a seawall in its recovery plans, the Army Corps cost/benefit analysis will conclude that jetties and dunes are not needed for protection, said Schumer.
“Rockaway and its residents must not be left vulnerable in the event of a future storm,” Schumer said. “Now that New York City’s plans for the Rockaway boardwalk are underway, the Army Corps should fast-track their study so that New York City is aware of what protections will be put in place.”
The Army Corps’ study is underway along the shoreline from Beach 149th Street to Beach 19th Street, with the objective to find a long-term, cost-effective solution, potentially including dunes, stone-groins and other protective measures. The study is funded by federal money.
Currently, over 600,000 cubic yards of sand are being added to provide flood control between Beach 89th Street and Beach 149th Street.
Reconstruction of the boardwalk could start as early as later this year or early 2014, said the Parks Department.