Northeast
Residents are concerned that erosion at the Washington Boulevard beach, right, is continuing, despite construction of new jetties. At left, the view from the Lafayette Boulevard walkover. Christina Daly / LI Herald

NY - Long Beach Officials: Faulty Jetties Causing Beach Erosion

The winner of Long Beach’s never-ending battle against nature seems all too obvious, at least at the southern end of Washington Boulevard: It’s the ocean.

The sand is disappearing rapidly on some areas of the beach, not only at Washington, but also at Neptune Boulevard, farther east. There sunbathers sit further back, toward the boardwalk.

At Washington beach there are huge gaps where there once was sand.

The situation is causing concern among some city officials, who are raising red flags with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which in 2018 completed work on replenishing sand on the beach and rehabilitating 18 jetties, or groins, from Point Lookout to the West End of Long Beach.

The first warnings came at the Sept. 1 City Council meeting, when Chief of Lifeguards Paul Gillespie told council members that at Washington and Neptune, “We are losing beaches.” Gillespie said he was unhappy with the work the Army Corp did, and suggested it was time for it to return to Long Beach and see what might be done.

“How can you leave the beach the way it is?” Gillespie said. “We are losing a tremendous amount of land.” He reminded the council that if the weather stays warm during the fall, a lot of people would continue to crowd the sand. “The people in Long Beach love their beach,” he said.

“The city did not accept the jetties as is,” City Council President John Bendo said. “The Army Corps of Engineers is to come back and inspect them at certain intervals over the next five years.” Bendo said the jetties were “settling,” which was causing the loss of sand.

“We are not satisfied with the work,” Bendo said. “The Army Corps of Engineers is still on the hook.”

John Mirando, the city’s public works commissioner, said in an interview that plans to shore up the jetties began after Hurricane Sandy decimated the city’s shoreline in 2012, and that the corps was not authorized to work on some of them. “Those beaches have lost sand,” he said, adding that he was concerned about beach erosion where the corps did not do the work. Washington and Neptune were among those areas.

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