Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced New York State has allocated $23 million in federal funds to begin the beach stabilization and infrastructure protection project at Robert Moses State Park in Suffolk County, Long Island.
The program will nourish park beaches and strengthen the shoreline buffers protecting the Robert Moses traffic circle and Ocean Parkway from future storms, as part of the State’s efforts to reimagine New York for a new weather reality.
“The destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy to Long Island’s parks and beaches was unprecedented and our long-term rebuilding process continues today,” Governor Cuomo said.
“Last summer, we took a major step forward in the recovery from Sandy when we repaired and reopened the severely damaged Ocean Parkway and Robert Moses State Park for the busy tourism season. Now, with this new federal funding, we can build on those emergency repairs with measures that will strengthen and protect the natural infrastructure at the park from future storms. This is a critical part of our efforts to not just build back, but to reimagine our state’s beaches and parks for a new reality – ensuring that Robert Moses State Park remains a popular coastal destination for New Yorkers and visitors.”
The project includes placing as much as 600,000 cubic yards of sand at Robert Moses State Park to nourish beaches, enhance the protective dunes at the traffic circle, and restore native vegetation.
The State Boat Channel will be dredged to yield an estimated 400,000 cubic yards of sand, while simultaneously improving navigation in the channel.
Additionally, the state will explore trucking up to 200,000 cubic yards to the site from an ongoing dredging project in the Fire Island Inlet.
“Robert Moses State Park is a significant tourism destination and crucial to Long Island’s quality of life and I’m thankful for Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protecting it,” said Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey. “Not only will this project better protect the repairs we’ve made so far, the state’s strategy of building back with natural sand and dunes will enhance native plant and animal habitat and protect the area’s coastal beauty.”
“This important investment will help restore and replenish the beach, not only providing valuable recreational opportunities for residents, but through natural means, it will protect the road system and water tower which are vital for access for millions of visitors to Robert Moses State Park and the community which surrounds it,” said Director of Storm Recovery Jamie Rubin. “The State looks forward to announcing additional infrastructure recovery projects in the months ahead.”
With the completion of this Robert Moses project and others by the state Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers along Gilgo, Town of Babylon and Overlook beaches, as much as 3.4 million cubic yards of sand will have been used to restore and enhance 7.5 miles of beaches and protective dunes adjacent to the park and Ocean Parkway.
Sand removed from the State Boat Channel will be used to nourish Field 3, 4 and 5 beaches, build protective dunes around the traffic circle, and create an emergency sand stockpile.
Dredging of the channel will take place around the clock until June.
The sand will be placed and graded on the beach up to April 1 and then stockpiled for future use.
Clearing large deposits of sand from the bottom of the channel will have the added benefit of improving navigation in popular waterway for recreational boating and fishing.
Other disaster recovery projects may be pursued with available funding.
Press Release, March 14, 2014