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The Weakest Link

At the Oct. 8 meeting of Community Board 14’s Parks and Public Safety Committee, Dan Falt of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) said the plans for protection of the peninsula’s oceanside will be between Beach 9th Street and Beach 149th Streets.

Protection for the beaches and local area of Riis Park, Ft. Tilden, etc. is up to the National Park Service (NPS). CB14 member Paul King shared his concerns with his fellow board members and The Wave:

“As most of you know, the combination of an unremarkable off-shore tropical storm (Melissa), a Nor’easter, and full-moon high tides led to big waves and flooding late last week. I am told the videos on Facebook were impressive. Still, on Saturday, I was surprised to see the impacts in Riis Park.

The boardwalk had clearly been topped the day before with muddy sand and puddles everywhere. In front of the Bathhouse –where NPS intends to open new concessions and services– the beach was only about 30 feet long. Piles of sand offered modest protection for the structure. In the easternmost beaches (Bays 1-6) there is significant erosion on the west side of the jetties (groins).

In short, Riis Park’s beaches are degrading as a place for visitors at the same time new concessions are making Riis more appealing. It is also clearer than ever that Gateway is the weak link in our planned hurricane defenses. As was discussed at the last Parks Committee meeting, building a barrier from Beach 9 to Beach 149 will still leave neighborhoods exposed if the National Park Service leaves our side door open. (Not to mention the back door on the Bay.)”

We’re listening to Paul, let’s hope U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Gregory Meeks are paying attention as well.