- Posted December 2, 2012 by
Belle Harbor, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
'Superstorm' Sandy: Your stories
Can Rock Jetties Protect the Rockaways?
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Following Hurricane Sandy, the beach, boardwalk and playgrounds east of Beach 86th Street in the Rockaway section of New York City were still in place—destroyed, but still in place. West of Beach 86th Street the beach and boardwalk caused tremendous damage to homes in Belle Harbor and Neponsit, with some pieces of boardwalk actually turning up in basements flooded with five feet of water.
According to Friends of Rockaway Beach, an advocacy group composed of lifelong residents, at the root of this tale of two Rockaways are the rock jetties that acted to slow the surge of ocean water between Beach 17th Street and Beach 86th Street. Today a few hundred people met at this point of demarcation to demand the immediate construction of rock jetties at strategic points along the entire length of the peninsula.
In addition to the hundreds that attended, numerous speakers, including former City Councilman and State Senate candidate Eric Ulrich, offered vocal support for the plan, which is also recognized by the United States Army Corps of Engineers as the best solution for stemming beach erosion. Along with rock jetties, residents also called for the prompt placement of three million cubic tons of sand.
Besides stirring up the ocean, Hurricane Sandy has stirred up a lively and sometimes heated debate about the wisdom of dedicating precious resources to the reconstruction of beaches and beachfront property, given the likelihood of major coastal storms in the future. Those present at this gathering today, however, are passionate about rebuilding their beloved beach community and anyone of the opinion that this would be a waste of money voiced it at their own peril.