Seeks state and federal government aid for Sandy-battered beaches.
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
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
to Murray, Hempstead
Town has taken a proactive environmental approach for the last decade to protecting residents
and their property.
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
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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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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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