Murray Calls for Coastal Protection Plan

Seeks state and federal government aid for Sandy-battered beaches.

Credit: Chris Boyle
Credit: Chris Boyle
Story by Chris Boyle

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray called on state and federal agencies to prepare a Coastal Protection Action Plan in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastating passing in the hard-hit barrier island area last month.  

Speaking at a press conference held on the shores of the Point Lookout Town Park, Murray spoke of Hempstead’s efforts to repair the damage left after the powerful superstorm tore through the surrounding area, destroying homes and businesses alike.  

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“Long Beach Island and all of the communities that comprise western Nassau’s Barrier Beach was slammed by Hurricane Sandy over a month ago,” she said. “We have been overseeing the restoration of our coastline, which is critically important, as it is the last line of defense for our local homes and business communities against the ravages of surging Atlantic seawater.”  

According to Murray, Hempstead Town has taken a proactive environmental approach for the last decade to protecting residents and their property. 

“We have planted beach grass to stabilize dunes,” she said. “We’ve dredged waterways to place sand on beaches, built bulkheads to keep our coasts from washing away, and places snow fencing strategically to keep our beaches from literally blowing away.” 

Murray said that the sand dunes Hempstead build in areas such as Point Lookout, Lido Beach, and Atlantic Beach, helped to mitigate the damage inflicted by Sandy’s passing, preventing a bid situation from becoming even worse.  

However, Murray stated that Hempstead is looking for state and federal agencies to update a postponed coastal protection plan to help protect residents from future storms like Sandy.  

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“The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had developed a project in 1996 called the Long Beach Island Storm Damage Reduction Project,” she said. “The project stalled after the City of Long Beach pulled out. Hempstead Town moved forward on its own with a limited protection project, but the damage to the island underscores the need for an engineered approach to storm damage, and we need it now.”  

“Today we’re calling upon the DEC and the Army Corps to take steps to get us closer to putting a shovel in the ground for a coastal protection plan,” Murray declared. “We need to protect our communities and to protect our beaches.”  

The original coastal protection plan proposed by the Army Corps called for the installation of four new groins, which are barriers used to protect beaches against erosion; the repair of existing groins; and the replenishment of sand and strategic build-up of dunes.  

Currently, the Town is using their own construction equipment, including the only marine dredge owned by a government on Long Island, to pump sand from the Jones beach inlet to repair the area’s badly eroded beaches.  

Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) also spoke at the press conference, and pointed out that some forward momentum had been achieved on a local level to advancing the coastal protection plan.  

“I know that, this past week, the City of Long Beach passed a resolution allowing the city council to enter into discussion with the Army Corps,” she said. “I urge the Army Corps to come down here and work with us...time is of the essence, as we are still working to recover and rebuild.”  

Lido Beach Civic Association president Liz Murdy also addressed those present at the press conference, echoing the sentiments of Legislator Ford that any plan to protect the beaches needs to be put into motion sooner rather than later.  

“All the residents saw the wrath of Sandy and what it did to our beautiful beach, and what it can do in the future if we do not build up our shorelines and get protection wee need so we can be safe in future storms,” she said. “Hopefully that will never exceed the damage that we saw just last month.”
Mr Dunes December 11, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Are they replacing the Dunes at Lido West? Those are Town Of Hempstead Beaches?
Eddie December 11, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Before Long Island's politicos jump on the Sand Dune Bandwagon it would do them well to take a lesson in topography. The dunes did very little to ebb the advancing tide. Both Atlantic Beach and Point Lookout are simply two feet higher than Long Beach. Spend the peoples' money elsewhere, Kate.
Hamburger December 11, 2012 at 04:43 PM
rebuild West End dunes please
Tonto Hertzberg December 11, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Denise Ford was the ONLY county official that could be found for the first 10 days on Long Beach Island. She was out walking the area, surveying the damage and communicating with residents. Although her own home was damaged quite severely she still did her job and more. Hats off to Ms. Ford and may the rest of the no-shows rot in hell.
Beachguy December 12, 2012 at 08:17 AM
Portions of East Atlantic Beach were relatively unscathed. The reason , I believe , was the depth of the dunes. The City of Long Beach has never actively promoted dune growth and maintenance. After Irene the dunes in West End were never nourished by the extension of properly placed snow fences, the planting of beach grass , the placement of Christmas trees and other such measures. they were just left as they were after the storm. There were no dunes whatsoever in the areas at the boardwalk. Ohio and Nevada Aves were particularly hard it and much of the blame lies with the cut through the dunes at EAB for access for the Town of Hempstead trucks. Just go take a look at the sheared off dunes. So all the negligent politicians, department heads(see Lacarruba) and the other do-nothings are now running for cover and revising what happened. Maybe Kate Murray can get the Islanders , who she caused to leave, to play a benefit game to raise funds for dune restoration.
Beachguy December 12, 2012 at 08:20 AM
BTW-- the ACE plan was in 2006 not 1996. And it's Jones Inlet not Jones beach inlet.
Eddie December 12, 2012 at 08:25 AM
There's no question that the dunes help prevent damage caused by the velocity of waves. To that end, they probably would have protected some of the low lying apartments on the boardwalk. But dunes are quickly undermined and washed away, as were those on Pacific Boulevard. Certainly a vital part of any flood mitigation, the only true prevention of flooding on an island surrounded by water is raising the elevation of living spaces.
Beachguy December 12, 2012 at 08:38 AM
Eddie-- you are absolutely correct but that would only apply to new construction and occasional raising of existing structures. Meanwhile we have to deal with things the way they are. Carefully nurtured and growing dunes are a great line of first defense. Also, the walkways , at ground level, through the dunes have to be done away with. How access for the elderly, handicapped and such will be handled I don't know . I'm not familiar with Pacific Blvd but wasn't there a large area of totally unprotected beach in front of the entrance? Once the water breaches the area it swiftly destroys everything. A steady, sturdy continuous line of dunes is mother natures remedy. Also, mother nature generally builds a double line of dunes. Napeague is a perfect example as was the stretch between Lido and Point Lookout back in the day before man intervened with beach clubs and parks.
Eddie December 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM
There was a line of well developed dunes that were completely gone by 4 pm, after about an hour of pounding by the waves. Some defense, I suppose.
Tideline December 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Ken Toller, if D. Ford was out communicating with her constituents, then why was she so notably absent from last weeks City Council meeting ? Too busy watching TV ? Why don't you state your occupation and whether you work in LB, so readers can know your frame of reference ? Full disclosure is the only way to go.
Beachguy December 12, 2012 at 02:50 PM
tideline: Denise Ford was at the meeting last week in the audience. I clearly saw her. no doubt in my mind.
Tonto Hertzberg December 12, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Tideline. I have no connection whatever with any of the rats in either party. I do respect Ms. ford however for being out in the streets as soon as the water level dropped even though she had troubles of her own BeachGuy. You are right that we in Long Beach got hammered while East Atlantic Beach and Atlantic beach suffered much less damage. Credit the dunes and the fact that those areas are higher up than Long Beach.
Tideline December 12, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Ken, did you delete your comment or did patch do it for you? Internet tough guys scare me so much, why don't you come meet me in the parking lot of the old sunrise gym at 7:00 tonight ? Now we will see if you are a pontificating bag of hot air, or you are willing to back up your big mouth.
Tonto Hertzberg December 12, 2012 at 06:30 PM
TidyBoy..........get off the steroids and have a milkshake like a normal person. you seem more likely to be hanging out in the steam room than the parking lot....lol
Tideline December 12, 2012 at 07:12 PM
7:00 came and went. Ken still running his mouth from the safety of behind his computer screen, too scared to man up. Priceless. How can you live with yourself....
Gerald Cymbalsky December 12, 2012 at 07:25 PM
The dunes with vegetation and snow fencing are gone from the beach at the 600 block of Shore Road. We need concrete walls inside the new dunes and under the boardwalk. Movable concrete construction barriers at the beach in place when storms approach.
Bobby Newman December 12, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Gerald, that seems very sensible. Concrete wall under the boardwalk to provide a barrier might have stopped some of the power. I think a combination approach with various ideas mentioned would be appropriate (dunes with vegetation, etc.) , but having that barrier under the boardwalk would also eliminate some of the arguments about wood versus concrete, etc. in the construction of the boardwalk itself.
Jack December 12, 2012 at 09:11 PM
To all of you arm chair engineers: Lido Beach was flooded and sustained enormous damage. There was a major infestation of ocean water through the break in the dunes near Lido Towers at the west end of the Town Park. People are wondering why and who created this opening. Was it done for the convenience of nearby buildings or for Town trucks. Nevertheless people are discussing taking legal action for the damages incurred.
Beachguy December 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM
The Town of Hempsted had a large cut through the dunes in between Nevada Ave., in Long Bech and Brookline in EAB and that's where the ocean broke through. The cut through the dunes for beach access between Nevada and Ohio also contributed to the devastation. If you put anything under the boardwalk the waves an be funneled upwards blowing the boardwalk apart. A storm barrier in front of the boardwalk might work though.


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