NEW YORK – Today, Col. David Caldwell, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New York District announced the completion of the Sea Gate Reach of the Coney Island Shore Protection Project. Col. Caldwell was joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, as well as New York State DEC and the City of New York. The $28 million project will increase resiliency and reduce the risks coastal storms pose to residents and businesses on Coney Island. It will also prevent sand erosion from the Coney Island Public Beach and surrounding beaches, which played a key role in helping to mitigate storm surge damage during Hurricane Sandy. The project is federally funded through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, the Sandy Relief Bill (Public Law 113-2).
"The completion of the Coney Island coastal protection project is great news and will provide desperately-needed security against future storms and floods for the people of Coney Island and Sea Gate. We worked long and hard to secure the federal funding for this essential effort - with Congressman Nadler leading the charge and Congressman Jeffries helping to bring it across the finish line. Making Coney Island's waterfront neighborhoods and beaches more resilient and secure was a very worthy effort, and I am proud to be a part of this terrific accomplishment," said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.
“The Sea Gate Reach portion of this project not only marks the completion of this shore protection effort, it ensures that Coney Island Beach will be stronger and retain its sand for longer,” said Col. David Caldwell, commander, New York District. “The Coney Island community, like so many others, experienced major devastation, flooding, and beach erosion during Hurricane Sandy. This project strengthens Coney Island’s resiliency, makes it more sustainable and reduces risks associated with severe storm events."
The first phase of the project started over 20 years ago with widening and elevating of Coney Island beach from Corbin Place to West 37th Street. Since then beach replenishment, groin work, and other work has been done to ensure that Coney Island is ready for the next storm event. USACE placed 70,000 cubic yards of sand at Sea Gate Beach in this last phase.
The project completion also comes with 4 new T-groin structures, each one the size of a football field. In addition, the Norton Point Dike and the West 37th Street Terminal Groin were reinforced with bedding stone. Together these enhancements will minimize sand erosion, and reduce damage to homes and business in the event of another storm.
“The completion of this $28 million project marks a critical step toward our collective effort to bolster storm preparation in Coney Island and across New York City," said Rep. Jeffries. "Superstorm Sandy may have damaged many of the homes and businesses in neighborhoods throughout the district I represent, but it failed to dampen our resolve and commitment to rebuilding our community. The Army Corps and my colleagues in the New York Congressional delegation should be commended for their leadership in this effort.”
"I am thrilled to be here today as we announce the completion of the T-Groins shore protection project in Coney Island," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. "Twenty-four years ago when I was first elected to Congress, I made a commitment to the people of this community that I would safeguard Coney Island's beaches after the Nor'easter of 1992 devastated Sea Gate. A need that was spotlighted again after Superstorm Sandy hit Coney Island in 2012. Finally, after more than 20 years and working with my colleagues Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Rep. Jeffries, the Army Corps, the State, the City and the Sea Gate Association this project is finally finished and a reality, and 100% paid for by the federal government. The famous beaches of Coney Island are protected for generations to come."
"New York State has been working in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers and New York City to address the erosional issues in the Sea Gate area of Coney Island since 2000," said State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos. "The completion of this project will bring additional protection from flooding to the Sea Gate area. Residents and property owners should remain aware that this project will not protect them from all levels of storms, climate change, and sea level rise which will constantly change as we move into the future. New York is working with the Corps of Engineers, along with the State of New Jersey and New York City to initiate a study that will further evaluate the conditions in the New York Harbor area to determine what addition measures may be need to assist the areas in flood protection and increased resiliency."
Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "The Sea Gate Reach will provide vital protection to the Coney Island community - a community that is on the front lines of climate change, as we saw so clearly during Sandy. This complements the over $2 billion in resiliency investments underway in Coney Island and the over $20 billion resiliency plan we're undertaking across the five boroughs to protect our neighborhoods and infrastructure from flooding, sea level rise, and other climate risks. I thank the Army Corps and all of our government partners for their continued collaboration as we ensure a stronger, more resilient New York."
"Hurricane Sandy highlighted the city's vulnerabilities to coastal storms and a changing climate. Today, we mark another critical step as we continue to build a stronger and more resilient city," said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer in the NYC Mayor’s Office. "The completion of this Sea Gate project marks another important milestone in the City’s $20 billion multilayered OneNYC climate resiliency program underway across the five boroughs -- over $2 billion of which is being invested to make all of Coney Island safer. We’re thrilled to have worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Sea Gate community to make this project a reality and we look forward to more successes together. Thanks to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressmen Nadler and Jeffries and our entire delegation for helping New Yorkers with the support we need to continue building a city that can withstand and emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change.”
Future phases of this project will include the placement of 30,000 cubic yards of sand every 10 years. The entire $28 million project was funded by the Sandy relief package and will offer significant protection to the area, which has suffered frequent flooding, erosion and damage from rain and coastal storms in recent years.