USACE Coastal Restoration Mission Continues

It’s been seven years since the Army Corps’ New York District began its mission in response to Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy made history as the largest Atlantic hurricane on record when it made landfall on Oct. 29, 2012.

With wind gusts in excess of 75 miles per hour and storm surge that inundated much of the New York and New Jersey coasts, the storm caused more than $50 billion in damages.

For the New York District, coastal restoration in the District’s AOR continues its highly successful coastal restoration mission, as it further enhances areas of resiliency and lowering risks from future coastal storms.

Building on experiences from Sandy, the New York District continues its efforts and has made continuous progress in sustaining its capabilities.

On the occasion of the seventh year since Hurricane Sandy hit the Atlantic Coast on Oct. 29, 2012, New York District has completed several authorized and funded projects, flood control and coastal emergency projects and made great progress across its area of responsibility along the New Jersey and New York shorelines.

And since Sandy, the New York District has performed its mission of coastal restoration and wrote the chapter on resiliency by restoring miles of shoreline and beach protection projects and constructed projects that had been previously authorized.

Following 2012, with federal funds appropriated, the New York District placed millions of cubic yards of sand on identified beaches in its area of responsibility, and restored dunes and berms to their authorized specifications.

Consistent with the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, the New York District collaborated with federal, state, local government, and non-governmental agencies, and academic organizations on studies to assess the flood risks of vulnerable coastal areas affected by Sandy.

Completed were various coastal storm damage risk reduction projects, engineered beach restoration projects, and repairs to Sandy-damaged navigation channels and structures along the coast including ongoing studies.

Image source: USACE

Since 2018, the New York District has restored beaches along New Jersey and southern Long Island,” said Anthony Ciorra, Chief of Coastal Restoration leads New York District’s Coastal Restoration Branch. “The focus is on constructing coastal projects to reduce risks to coastal communities.

There have been challenges, but we’ve worked to prioritize actions such as reviews and advancing the design for some of the projects—this has been helpful to line everything up to go to construction,” said Ciorra. “Once we’re in construction, things move quickly.”

To date, the District has repaired and restored eight coastal flood risk reduction projects (13 construction contracts) substantially completed by December 2014 less than 18 months after construction started in July 2013. Over 15.2 million cubic yards of sand was placed on beaches for projects in New York City, Long Island, and Northern New Jersey.

Twenty eight of 29 federally maintained navigation projects for channels and structures impacted by Hurricane Sandy have been repaired, and the Corps’ Caven Point Marine Terminal reconstruction is nearing completion.

Ongoing studies including Hurricane Sandy General Reevaluation Reports, the District completed 10 Feasibility Cost-Sharing Agreement amendments, two Design Agreement amendments, and executed one new Federal Cost Shared Agreement; six completed feasibility studies (including four with no Federal interest); three final General Reevaluation Reports scheduled for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works approval in FY 2020.

Authorized but Unconstructed Projects include nine Hurricane Sandy Limited Reevaluation Reports (HSLRRs) approved; 10 Project Partnership Agreements (PPAs) executed; 15 construction contracts awarded; 12 contracts physically completed.

Signings included the Director’s Report for the New Jersey Passaic River Tidal study, and the Chief’s Report for the New York Rockaway / Jamaica Bay project that are both significant milestones met as the initiation of construction approached.