USA: Senator Pushes Approval for Breezy Point Coastline Project

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer reaffirmed his call for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide federal Hurricane Sandy relief funds for a new dune flood-protection system in Breezy Point.

The application for funding was formally submitted to FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program and Schumer is urging the agency to approve this application.

The proposed project would make residents safer and enable the Breezy Point community to be better prepared to withstand subsequent storms.

Similar dune protection systems are already under way across the rest of the Rockaway Peninsula, but not yet at the far-western end, which leaves this community exposed to future storms.

The proposed FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) project would cost approximately $58 million and consist of the evaluation and construction of a primary and secondary dune system and other protective measures in Breezy Point that would protect future storm surges.

These storm-protection methods were not in place when Hurricane Sandy hit, which led to tremendous storm-surge damage throughout the community.

With the application now in the hands of FEMA, we are one step closer to protecting the entire Rockaway Peninsula, including the thousands of at-risk homes in Breezy Point, so I am doubling down on my call for FEMA to promptly approve the double dune,” said Schumer. “The Breezy Point dune project must be a priority for FEMA because it is a smart and cost-effective solution to protecting our coastline. It makes no sense to protect just some of the Rockaway Peninsula; we need to protect all its communities.”

Breezy Point was hit extremely hard during Superstorm Sandy, hundreds of homes were destroyed by either flood or fire and thousands of families still do not have adequate protection to rebuild their homes and their lives,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “Funding from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) will allow Breezy Point a secondary dune system and protect all our vulnerable neighborhoods on the Rockaway Peninsula. I urge FEMA to act immediately and finally allow our communities to build back stronger than before.

The Breezy Point Risk Mitigation Project is a critical part of barrier island protection for both the Breezy Point community and the Jamaica Bay watershed and floodplain.

The proposed project has two principal components – a double dune system on the ocean side of the community and new protective measures on the bay side. The objective of the proposed 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 designed to withstand the forces associated with a 100-year flood height, as indicated on FEMA’s latest maps, plus sea level rise (2.58feet) over the life of the project and provide long term, sustainable protection.

The principal need at Breezy Point along the ocean side is to provide a double dune system where the primary dune (most seaward dune) can survive the wave impact of a coastal storm and the secondary dune (the landward dune) can provide flood protection from storm surge. On the bay side a series of flood and erosion protection devises, including baffle walls, T-groins, sheet pile and beach fill are needed.

The Breezy Point area was excluded from the US Army Corps of Engineers Rockaway Beach project, which ends at Beach 149th Street, approximately 2.6 miles east of Breezy Point.

The Breezy Point community begins at approximately Beach 200th Street. There is currently no active federal, State or City flood or protection project in the Breezy Point community.

The plan supported by Breezy Point Cooperative includes dunes, seawalls, floodwalls and a storm water control and pump system.

Press Release, March 21, 2014

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