Article

Long Island's Beach Projects

| posted on July 22, 2010

A Conversation
with Surfrider NYC’s Rob Bailey


Long
Island Secret Spot.
Photo Courtesy: Surfrider/Long Island

By Chris
Dixon

In the mid-1980′s,
after the devastating Hurricane Gloria struck the coast of New York, the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began to study ways that such damage could
be prevented in the future. The result of that study is today an $800
million-plus dollar plan that encompasses the entire coast of Long Island.
The plan spends the bulk of its renourishment, artificial dunes, seawalls,
groins and repairs to existing structures. It is also very controversial.

One part
of the plan deals with an ambitious plan to completely remake the beach
at Long Beach. A very popular surfing area that boasts some of the deepest
barrels on the east coast, Long Beach would be heavily altered. The plan
in Long Beach, for example would cost around $86 million. It would call
for a new dune 15 feet above sea level along the entire back of the beach.
(The existing boardwalk that runs along LB is 17 feet high). This dune
would be 25 feet wide at the top and a full 75 feet at the bottom. Additionally,
a 110 foot wide berm would be created ten feet above sea level and the
beach would be filled up with sand dredged from offshore. New groins would
also be added, and old ones would be repaired.

But a great
deal of the sand that would come from offshore is contaminated, and should
all the proposed sand be dredged, there could be serious, lasting detriment
to the surf spots of Long Beach. And this is just the tip of the Army
Corps’ vast undertaking.

To find out
more about this project, we spoke with Rob Bailey, head of the New York
City Chapter of Surfrider. He offered a glimpse of what’s really going
on out on “Lawng Island” and urged that other New York surfers get
involved. Nothing less than the future of your beaches is at stake.
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