Hundreds Of Rockaways Residents Hold ‘Demand The Sand’ Rally For Better Storm-Proofing
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The beach replenishment group “Friends of Rockaway Beach,” along with a few hundred residents took to the beach Sunday afternoon to call for better protection from future storms.
Activists said there needs to be a three-pronged approach to prevent the kind of devastation superstorm Sandy brought from happening ever again.
WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports
“Boardwalk, jetties and sand replenishment,” organizer Eddy Pastore told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith. “If one is left out, it’s going to be like a house of cards, it’s just going to fold because it’s not enough just to do one. You’ve got to do all three.”
The rally was held on Beach 86th Street in the Rockaways, where the devastation is still apparent more than a month after Sandy hit.
“Over here where there’s beaches and jetties, the boardwalk is still here. If you go down and look down this side, it’s totally gone so it’s kind of like a no-brainer,” Pastore said.
Much of the boardwalk stretching from Beach 91st Street to Beach 108th Street was ripped away in Sandy’s wrath. The storm surge sent ocean water and sand onto streets and into homes.
Demonstrators taking part in the “Demand the Sand” campaign said other areas with jetties like Arverne By The Sea survived with minimal damage.
“The beach over in this section of Rockaway was preserved for the most part while here we have utter devastation all the way to the end of the peninsula,” a demonstrator told Smith.
Residents said they are tired of the studies and the empty promises and demanded action from lawmakers and other officials now.
“My thought is it’s time for the nonsense to end,” a Rockaways resident said.
Last week, Friends of Rockaway Beach co-founder John Cori told WCBS 880 that the jetties are critical to the peninsula.
“Not having rock jetties in the Rockaways is equivalent to no levies in New Orleans. It’s exactly the same thing. It’s a massive problem and they’ve been kicking the can down the road. We need this more than anything. It makes no sense for people to put boilers in their homes in Belle Harbor if the water’s going to be coming down the block next week,” said Cori.
The issue, according to experts, is the cost. A single rock jetty costs $1 million to build. Cori estimates 50 jetties are needed to help protect the Rockaways.
“Rock jetties are $50 million to $70 million. Economic loss by Sandy in the billions. Do the math,” a resident told Smith.
Activists called the storm-proofing measures ‘overdue.’
Do you think the beach replenishment effort should be green-lighted, regardless of cost? Sound off in the comments section below…