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Schumer: Funding For Nassau Back Bay Feasibility Study Secured in Senate Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Senate version of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for FY 2016 will include $1.8 million in federal funding for the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, ...

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Nassau County, NY - June 2, 2015 - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Senate version of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for FY 2016 will include $1.8 million in federal funding for the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, which will allow a feasibility study for mitigation and resiliency projects to protect Nassau Back Bay, Schumer explained that initially President Obama recently requested that just $1 million in 2016 Appropriations be allocated towards the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, which was not enough funding to start the feasibility study for Nassau Back Bay. Similarly, the Appropriations Bill that passed the House of Representatives earlier this month also fell short of including enough funding to begin work on Nassau Back Bay. The Sandy Relief Bill included $20 million for a comprehensive study to address the flood risks of vulnerable coastal populations that were affected by Superstorm Sandy – from Virginia to Maine. In this study, the Army Corps concluded that there were 9 vulnerable focus areas that needed to be protected; one of which was the Back Bay communities of Nassau County. After the President's budget did not include enough funding to begin a feasibility study for Nassau Back Bay, the next step in the Army Corp's process, Schumer personally pushed the Senate Appropriations committee in February urging them to increase the amount allocated to the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study so that there would be enough funds to ensure the Nassau Back Bay Study was started as soon as possible.

Schumer today explained that, after his push an additional $800,000 was added to the Senate Appropriations Bill, bringing the total overall federal funding to $1.8 million. The additional funding Schumer secured would be enough to help kick start the Nassau Back Bay feasibility study so projects can be implemented as soon as possible.

“Securing adequate funding for the Army Corps to begin the Nassau Back Bay Feasibility study is important in the effort to make Long Island more resilient in the future,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee heeded the request to increase the amount of funding allocated toward the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study. This will help make sure the Nassau Back Bay study is started as soon as possible.”

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano stated, “Our Back Bay communities have endured their fair share of flooding, especially during Superstorm Sandy.  These communities are vulnerable to future storms and that is why it is important to fund a feasibility study that allows us to better protect these south shore communities and determine how best to build resiliency against future storms.  I thank Senator Schumer for his efforts to secure the funding necessary to conduct this essential study.”

"We thank Senator Schumer for tirelessly fighting for the City of Long Beach," said Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo. "Protecting the bay side of our barrier island is equally as important as protecting our ocean front. Rebuilding stronger, smarter, and safer with the Army Corps storm reduction project on the beach and their recommendations from this study, the City will be more resilient than ever."

Historically, Nassau County’s back bay communities have endured flooding on numerous occasions. Specifically, after Superstorm Sandy, the City of Long Beach, Village of Island Park, Oceanside, Massapequa, Baldwin, Merrick, Bellmore, Wantagh, Seaford, Five Towns were extensively flooded along the bayfront area.  On the Long Beach barrier island, the ocean met the bay. According to the comprehensive U.S. Geological Survey’s Observed Storm Surge Mapper from October 29th, 2012, it is clear there was storm surge on both the oceanfront and bayfront side of the barrier island.

The Army Corps’ North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study is made possible through Schumer’s efforts in the Senate to pass a disaster relief bill for New York residents.