Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D- Rockaway) is proud to announce that in response to his request and community efforts, the mayor has agreed to fund $3 million for sand replacement. Goldfeder recently sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg requesting additional funding to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to transfer some of the newly acquired sand from the dredging of the East Rockaway Inlet to areas of the Rockaway Peninsula that were affected most by recent storms and erosion.
"This is a huge victory for Rockaway residents living in constant fear of surging water," said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. "I thank Mayor Bloomberg for heeding our calls to give local families and businesses the protection and peace of mind they deserve."
In May, with the help of Senator Charles Schumer, Assemblyman Goldfeder announced that the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to allocate $4.5 million for the dredging of the East Rockaway Inlet that would provide for hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of new sand. The Army Corps of Engineers agreed to place the dredged sand from Beach 26th Street to Beach 36th Street. However, Goldfeder added that without additional funding, the hardest hit areas on the western portion of the Rockaway Peninsula would be ignored.
"Senator Schumer and I convinced the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the East Rockaway Inlet and provide the sand that we so desperately need in Rockaway," said Assemblyman Goldfeder. "This additional funding from the city will ensure that the sand is placed in the hardest hit areas."
The beaches are not simply a favorite summer destination or an economic engine for the Rockaways - they also act as an important barrier to protect infrastructure and private property from the sea. In some parts of the Rockaways, sand is less than 15 feet from the boardwalk during high tide, compared to an average of 75 feet of beach during 2010, Goldfeder noted.
"This additional sand is great news, but it is a temporary fix," Goldfeder said. "We need to fully fund the completion of the Rockaway beach study so that we may obtain and implement the rock jetties as a permanent solution."
In September of last year after Hurricane Irene, Senator Charles Schumer and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder met with community and civic leaders to discuss ways to restore our damaged beaches.
Assemblyman Goldfeder joined Friends of Rockaway Beach at a rally to demand the sand.