News Releases

Hurricane Risk Reduction Measures coming to the Rockaways

Published April 29, 2020
Updated: April 29, 2020
Sky shot of ongoing East Rockaway Inlet Dredging Project

Sky shot of ongoing East Rockaway Inlet Dredging Project

USACE personnel inspects sand discharge at East Rockaway Inlet Dredging Project.

USACE personnel inspects sand discharge at East Rockaway Inlet Dredging Project.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District announces the first contract award for the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, New York Coastal Storm Risk Reduction Project.  This is the first of several contracts that will provide nearly $600 million in federal investment for the construction of storm risk reduction infrastructure on both the Atlantic Ocean shoreline and the Jamaica Bay shoreline of the Rockaway Peninsula.

The contract was awarded to H&L Contracting LLC of Bayshore, NY for just under $114 million. Work under this contract includes the construction of fourteen (14) new stone groin structures and rehabilitation of five (5) existing groins on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Rockaway peninsula. This first element of construction will immediately provide erosion control and stabilization of the beach system. Work is expected to begin in the next few weeks. 

Last May the Corps pumped 348,000 cubic yards of sand onto Rockaway Beach between Beach 92nd Street and Beach 105th to mitigate severe erosion in the area.

"For years, the Rockaway community has been patiently awaiting much-needed improvements to the resiliency of their Atlantic shoreline," said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. "With the Army Corps awarding this contract to rebuild and expand groins, we are finally ready to ROCK and roll on the first phase of this essential project. I look forward to continuing to work alongside the Army Corps, my partners in government, and the many Rockaway residents who have all labored to make this moment possible."

"I am pleased that this critical project to protect the Rockaways and make our shoreline more resilient against future storms is moving forward," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, "I was proud to fight for funding for this project in the Sandy Supplemental, and will continue to work to ensure that the Army Corps has the resources needed to complete this important work."

"I am glad to see the contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded so that our work to replenish and reinforce the Rockaway shoreline continues on track, with construction beginning imminently within the month. While we are all focused on combatting coronavirus, we can't lower our guard on the other ways Mother Nature can and has hurt our district. We must bolster the resilience of our shorelines so they are better able to weather the next major storm, and our vital beaches aren't closed due to erosion. I thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their continued work with my office and look forward to construction beginning," said Congressman Gregory W. Meeks.

"We recognize a strong coastline promotes a strong community — economically, socially, and environmentally," said USACE commander, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite. "Working hand-in-hand with city, state and federal authorities, we will strengthen Rockaway's coastal resilience through a series of projects focused on storm risk reduction and erosion control.  This contract award represents the down payment on that promise. The Corps of Engineers is proud to step up and deliver this solution to Rockaway.”

“Even in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis the work of our city keeps going forward,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Working side by side with the US Army Corps of Engineers, this major investment will help protect the Rockaways' beautiful beaches for years to come — and protect New Yorkers in the process.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is implementing bold and innovative strategies to protect our coastal communities from flooding. This partnership to begin work on the Rockaway project is an example of our comprehensive protective actions and will protect a New York City community that was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy."

“This contract award represents a tremendous next step in our efforts to reinforce our shorelines and our coasts. Bolstering resiliency to reduce the devastating impacts of coastal storms saves lives, reduces property and economic damage, and can ensure a faster recovery after an event. I could not be more excited that we will be starting this long awaited project very shortly.” said Colonel Thomas Asbery, Commander of the New York District. “I would like to thank all of our great partners at the federal, state and city level who worked tirelessly to move this project forward even during this tumultuous time.”

“This marks the final step before construction can begin on the Atlantic Shorefront project,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency. “These stone groins will prevent erosion and stabilize the shoreline, making Rockaway communities stronger and more resilient to coastal storms for decades to come. We thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their partnership and their tireless efforts to advance this urgently needed project.”

"The new and reconstructed groins will bring much-needed protective infrastructure to the vibrant Rockaway peninsula, helping to ensure that the sand on the beach stays in place," said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. "As we prepare to face rising tides and increasingly intense storms, coastal erosion mitigation efforts are critical, and we thank the U.S Army Corps of Engineers for their hard work bringing phase one of this project to fruition."

With the passage of Public Law 113-2, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was provided both authority to perform feasibility studies to identify opportunities for coastal storm risk reduction, as well as funding to complete or newly construct coastal storm risk management projects in the Northeast.

The Rockaway Report and associated documents are posted on the U.S. Army Corps' New York District’s web site at:

Michael Embrich

Release no. 20-031