Photo Courtesy of Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor de Blasio and Sen. Schumer certainly were all-smiles this week after the great Rockaway & Jamaica Bay Reformulatuion Study news.
By Forum Staff
A “greatly” expedited timeline on the Rockaway & Jamaica Bay Reformulation Study has been secured, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the draft report will now be issued in August, followed by a final report in November, allowing for construction in the Rockaways to start as early as next year on the Atlantic side and Jamaica Bay neighborhoods.
“The residents of the Rockaways and Southern Brooklyn need better protections ASAP, and they are justifiably scared and tired of waiting. This agreement with the Army Corps, forged by Mayor de Blasio and I, will take the flood protection projects from the back burner to the front,” Schumer said. “In addition to the hundreds of millions [of dollars] we secured by reprogramming hundreds of millions in vital construction funds for this project, this agreement will mean that we can greatly accelerate the actual building of vital protections like a sea wall on the bay side, jetties and groins and more to protect every resident of the Rockaways from future storms and flooding. For far too long, the Rockaways have been waiting for a solution. As a strong supporter of this project, I commend the Army Corps for heeding our call and moving full steam ahead on this vital project.”
Following Superstorm Sandy, Schumer secured full federal funding for the resiliency project to better protect the whole Rockaway Peninsula from storms and floods. Last month, de Blasio met with Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commander of the USACE in Washington, D.C., and secured a commitment to expedite construction, while Schumer allocated an additional $730 million to ensure the Corps had the funds available to deliver coastal resilience projects in the region, including the Rockaway Reformulation as well as projects on Staten Island and Long Island.
The analysis will ultimately determine the solution for long-term erosion control and coastal protection projects along the Atlantic Coast, between East Rockaway Inlet, Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, Schumer noted.
“New York City’s shoreline is our first line of defense against climate change. We are grateful that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to accelerate its work to protect our coastal neighborhoods,” de Blasio added. “By working with communities and local leaders, we are continuing to deliver on our commitment to build a more sustainable, more resilient, and more equitable city.”