The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of New York are moving forward with a joint plan to dredge the East Rockaway Inlet and use the sand gathered there to replenish the eroded parts of Rockaway Beach that were closed last season, informs Senator Charles E. Schumer.
In a November letter to Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, Schumer called on the Army Corps to utilize the additional funding he secured in the FY2019 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act to dredge East Rockaway Inlet.
At the time, Schumer said, “Sand removal could also serve the beneficial use of sand renourishment on Rockaway Beach between Beach 91st Street and Beach 102nd Street, which is critical to ensure the safety and commerce of this heavily-trafficked area during the 2019 summer beach season.”
Regarding the current development and his successful push to include $7 million for the East Rockaway Inlet dredging project in the Army Corps’ FY2019 work plan, Schumer said, “Let there be sand – on Rockaway Beach! Using the sand from the East Rockaway dredging is a win-win that will keep open BOTH a vital navigation channel & all of Rockaway Beach.”
Last year, a popular stretch of Rockaway Beach between Beach 91st Street and Beach 102nd Street was closed due to lack of space to operate the beach safely, which was caused by beach erosion.
The channel was last dredged by USACE for maintenance in FY2017, when approximately 250,000 cubic yards of sand was removed and beneficially used to renourish Rockaway Beach (between Beach 27th Street and Beach 38th Street).
Prior to that, in 2014, the Army Corps deposited about 3.5 million cubic yards of sand along the beachfront. As USACE started drafting their FY2019 Work Plan, Schumer wrote a letter outlining his priorities for the entire state, of which the East Rockaway Inlet was first and foremost.
Shortly after sending his letter, USACE announced that the dredging project would receive $7 million in funding.