New Push for Rockaway Peninsula’s Storm Resiliency Projects

Image source: USACE

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Gregory Meeks yesterday urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin construction now on storm resiliency projects on the Rockaway Peninsula that have already been studied for years and have consensus support – like jetties, groins and a sea wall.

Senator Schumer said that it is unacceptable that these fully-funded projects languish for so long, leaving Rockaway residents vulnerable to erosion, storm surge and flooding.

The lawmakers yesterday called for 3 things:

  • Schumer said that the Army Corps should provide a firm timetable for the completion of this study and construction;
  • Schumer and Meeks said that the Army Corps should expedite construction on long-studied components such as jetties, groins and sea wall;
  • Schumer and Meeks said that the Corps should provide interim relief by placing sand from local dredging projects on erosion hotspots throughout Rockaway.

“The Army Corps should begin constructing projects that had consensus long ago – projects like jetties and groins that cover the length of Rockaway – while completing its study on Jamaica Bay,” said Senator Schumer.

“There’s no reason to leave Rockaway vulnerable when federal funds are available now for measures that can provide protection during future storms. I urge the Corps to release a schedule for the completion of the Jamaica Bay Rockaway Reformulation Study, and move forward with any projects that are ready-to-go.  In the meantime the Army Corps must provide temporary relief through placing additional sand on erosion hotspots.”

The federally-funded Rockaway Reformulation Study will ultimately determine the solution for long-term erosion control and coastal protection projects along the Atlantic Coast, between East Rockaway Inlet, Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, they said in its announcement.

While the study dates back to a 2003 agreement with NYSDEC, it had been subjected to various delays in funding and implementation. In the Sandy Supplemental Appropriation of 2013, Senator Schumer secured full federal funding to finally complete both the Rockaway Reformulation Study and the construction of the preferred alternative.