Rockaways – Atlantic Shorefront Project kicks off

On the 8th Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and USACE Colonel Matthew W. Luzzatto yesterday announced the start of construction on the Rockaways – Atlantic Shorefront Project.

The scheme will protect communities and strengthen the shoreline along six miles of the Rockaway Peninsula.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-led project consists of a reinforced dune system designed to block storm surge and new extended tapered groins. 

Also, these stone groins are jetty-like structures extending out into the ocean intended to trap sand and reduce beach erosion and help maintain a critical natural buffer between the Atlantic Ocean and local communities.

“Climate change is already impacting our everyday lives, and Hurricane Sandy demonstrated that the Rockaways in particular are vulnerable to damaging flooding from extreme weather driven by warmer temperatures,” Governor Cuomo said. 

“New York State is proud to collaborate on this project as part of our ongoing efforts to build stronger and more resilient communities across the state.”

“Eight years ago, Hurricane Sandy devastated our city and our shoreline,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We committed to building back stronger than ever, and I am thankful for our federal and state partners for working together to make this critically important project come to life. Together, we are protecting our shoreline and creating a more resilient New York City.”

The Rockaway Peninsula was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. More than 1,000 structures were either substantially damaged or destroyed by the storm surge, which reached a height of 10 feet.

Additionally, approximately 1.5 million cubic yards of sand was displaced from Rockaway Beach and deposited on adjacent communities or washed out to sea.

The Atlantic Shoreline component of this project is a joint effort undertaken by the City of New York, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and USACE.

It is being built at a cost of approximately $336 million in federal funding.

This project will be critically important to protecting coastal communities from flooding, severe weather events, and other impacts in the Rockaways caused by climate change.

Photo: USACE