Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office

NY - Officials Launch Rockaway-Atlantic Shorefront Resiliency Project

Mayor Bill de Blasio and, Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday to announce the start of construction on the Rockaways-Atlantic Shorefront Project, the $336 million initiative to strengthen the shoreline along six miles of the Rockaway Peninsula.

The corps-led project consists of a reinforced dune system designed to block storm surge and new and extended tapered groins. These stone groins are jetty-like structures extending out into the ocean intended to trap sand and reduce beach erosion and help maintain a critical natural buffer between the Atlantic Ocean and area communities.

According to officials, the first phase of the project will include the construction of 14 new stone groin structures and the rehabilitation of five existing groins on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Rockaway Peninsula. These new stone groins will provide stabilization for a re-nourished sand beach and dune and maintain the protective beach profile.

These improvements will also help restore local ecosystems and ensure the long-term viability of endangered species like the piping plover and sea amaranth. The high winds and fast-moving inundation caused by Superstorm Sandy disrupted the barrier island landscape that provides a home to local flora and fauna.

The second phase of construction will include the construction of a reinforced dune system that will strengthen the shoreline against coastal storms, which are growing more frequent and more destructive due to climate change. The dunes will be constructed with armor stone and steel sheet pile walls at their core, which will reduce wave breaking pressure and limit storm surge inundation and cross-peninsula flooding. All public access points across the dunes will be rebuilt using resilient materials.

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