Rockaway Coastline Project Gets Pushed Forward

After community members pushed for a better start date, they’ve finally been met with a little it of hope. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would fast track its Rockaway Reformulation Project, an effort to bring protection to Rockaway’s coastline, projecting a start in 2019 instead of the formerly proposed 2020.

In the beginning of the year, Senator Charles Schumer and Mayor Bill de Blasio made plans and secured funding for the USACE project, but never solidified a start date. There is still no official starting date, but the recent announcement brings some relief to weary residents. USACE hasn’t released any new information on RRP since the end of 2016.

Senator Schumer and Mayor de Blasio have kept up their end of the bargain, securing $730 million in funding for USACE and listening to the concerns of community residents. The Rockaway Reformulation Project aims to increase coastal edge elevations, protect against storm surge, and improve coastal design. Following Superstorm Sandy, Rockaway’s coastline was heavily impacted. Flood waters and powerful waves destroyed building infrastructure along the city’s coastline, and caused major beach erosion in the process. According to a coastal protection study, New York City lost an estimated 3 million cubic yards of sand, with the Rockaway Peninsula accounting for at least half of that number. As a result, the next Superstorm could do even more damage to the peninsula. With a higher sea level and poor coastal protection, Rockaway is left extremely vulnerable until the RRP begins.