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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Funding for Army Corps project a go
(Page 2 of 4)
Courtesy City of Long Beach
City Manager Jack Schnirman, right, Public Works Commissioner Jim LaCarrubba and Deputy DPW Commissioner Joe Febrizio met with representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers last Friday to discuss a new coastal protection project for Long Beach.

As the Herald reported last week, the corps is in the process of revising its earlier plan and has begun talks with the city. The plan includes dune protection against a 100-year storm for seven of the nine miles of shoreline between the Jones and East Rockaway inlets. It features the construction of a 110-foot-wide protective berm 10 feet above sea level, backed by a system of 25-foot-wide dunes. The city’s 16 existing groins, or jetties, would be rehabilitated, and four new groins would be built at the eastern end of the island, in the Town of Hempstead.

The city’s resolution to revive the project came shortly after Schumer urged municipalities and the corps, in the aftermath of Sandy, to move forward with projects that have already received federal approval and don’t require years of planning. In January, Schumer said that the $60 billion federal Hurricane Sandy aid package would provide millions of dollars for dozens of long-delayed projects to protect coastal communities. The Sandy Supplemental Package, he said, includes $150 million for Long Beach.

Schumer explained that the government’s 65 percent share of the cost of the project can be increased if the work can be defined as “ongoing construction” and is designed to makes the beaches stronger, more resilient and better protected against storms. An interim report, released on Tuesday by the Army Corps, confirmed that the project meets those criteria.

“As we continue to rebuild stronger, smarter, and safer, protecting our residents is of paramount importance,” City Council President Scott Mandel said. “On behalf of the City Council, I would like to thank Senator Schumer for his extraordinary efforts in helping us obtain full federal funding as we work with the Army Corps of Engineers towards a storm reduction project for our beach.”

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