DESCRIPTION: Located in the borough of Brooklyn, along the north shore of the bay just east of Knapp Street, Plumb Beach is a popular recreational site for sunbathers, wind surfers, hikers/bikers, nature watchers and others.
Partly within Gateway National Recreation Area and partly under the jurisdiction of NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (NYCDPR), the beach has been subject to excessive erosion since the area was filled during construction of the Belt Parkway in the 1930s.
This erosion threatened critical infrastructure, including a major emergency route for New York City, significant buried utilities, as well as a popular bike path. Wave action from a storm event in the fall of 2009 destroyed portions of the bike path, and came within 25 feet of the Belt Parkway, forcing New York City Parks to award a contract to temporarily repair the eroded area with sandbags to prevent further losses that would threaten the parkway and utilities.
In response, the USACE developed an interagency team, including New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of State, the National Park Service, NYCDPR, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the New York City Department of Transportation. This interagency team agreed on a comprehensive solution to afford long-term protection to this vital area and its adjacent infrastructure, while balancing the the environmental and recreational impacts to Plumb Beach and the vicinity.
STATUS: After completing a Feasibility Study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, in partnership with its interagency partners, constructed a coastal storm management project that consisted of constructing a beach berm with sections planted with dunegrass, as well as two terminal groins and a breakwater to minimize long-term erosion and reduce the need for future renourishments of the berm.
Phase I, the beach berm, was constructed immediately prior to Hurricane Sandy, preventing what could have been significant structural damage to the Belt Parkway during the storm. The more than 100,000 cubic yards of sand was beneficially reused from Ambrose Channel dredging done as part of ongoing efforts to deepen the channels associated with the Port of New York and New Jersey.
Phase II was completed over the course of 2013 and involved the construction of the stone groins and the breakwater.
Daniel T. Falt,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Phone: (917) 790–8614
Programs and Project Management Division, Civil Works Programs Branch
26 Federal Plaza, Room 2127
New York, NY 10279-0090
Current as of October 2017