Senator Chuck Schumer announced on Friday that a long-awaited project to restore protective dunes and groins (structures built to disrupt water flow and limit the movement of sand) along the shoreline of Long Beach has at last obtained the funding necessary to move forward. After Superstorm Sandy Schumer had secured $180 million in federal funds to install a system of barrier dunes and groins as part of the Sandy relief bill, however, the Office of Management and Budget attempted to require the City of Long Beach and New York State to cover 35% of the project’s costs.
That requirement would likely have prevented the dunes from ever being built, but the OMB recently relented, freeing local taxpayers of what would have been an excessive burden and allowing the project to progress with full federal backing.
“With funding secured and details laid out, we are on the verge of finally making a project, a decade in the making, a reality,” said Schumer. “This project, fully funded by the federal government, will ultimately provide massive protections for Long Beach residents and businesses, and should allow them to sleep a bit better at night knowing that when the next Sandy comes, they will be better protected.”
Under the plan, 35,000 feet along the coast of Long Beach will see a series of dunes and groins restored and raised to reduce potential damage and flooding during major storms. An initial fill of 4,720,000 cubic yards will help to fortify the berm and dunes, and there will be a refill every five years for the next half century.
Fifteen existing groins in Long Beach as well as two in the Town of Hempstead will be rehabilitated, and the terminal groin at Point Lookout in Hempstead will be restored and extended 100 feet. Additionally, four new groins will be constructed in Hempstead, with the potential for two more to be added pending monitoring and future needs.
“I commend Senator Schumer for working with Nassau County, Hempstead Town and the City of Long Beach to strengthen our shoreline and protect local neighborhoods against future storms,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said of the project.
“We fought hard for the Long Beach Island project for more than two decades,” added Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray. “This puts us one step closer to putting a ‘shovel in the sand,’ hardening our coastline and protecting homes and infrastructure on the barrier island.”
The project may begin as early as this summer, though it is still pending the approval of the Hurricane Sandy Limited Reevaluation Report, and the Project Partnership Agreement remains to be signed. If initial work can be done this year then a contract for additional rehabilitation of the beach’s groins could be awarded early next year, and a third contract for depositing sand would be awarded in 2016.
[Source: Senator Schumer]