Posted on November 1, 2022
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New York District, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), New York City, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently held press conferences to discuss its progress in executing the Superstorm Sandy Coastal Risk Reduction Program—a comprehensive decade-long effort designed to increase coastal storm risk reduction measures for residents of communities across the tri-state.
“After Superstorm Sandy devastated communities, businesses, schools and homes, I fought to secure billions in relief and resiliency efforts through federal agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “That is why in 2013 I passed the legislation to fund the Superstorm Sandy Coastal Storm Risk Reduction program which helped repair critical flood-protection projects as well as build new coastal storm-protection projects. I also fought to secure over $16 billion for the Corps of Engineers in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to finish projects and energize others. I’ll keep fighting red tape to complete critical projects as quickly as possible—and I’ll continue to deliver the federal funding needed to do so.”
“Ten years ago, Hurricane Sandy devastated communities across the state – from small towns down the shore to urban hubs up north,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “I made a commitment to Sandy survivors that I would never stop fighting on their behalf, and while we’ve made significant progress over the last decade, there’s much more to do. I’m proud to see the billions of federal dollars I helped secure come to fruition with the USACE to make our communities more resilient. It’s mitigation and prevention projects like this that will ensure New Jersey is better protected and prepared for the next storm.”
“Superstorm Sandy’s devastation was a wakeup call to commit to protecting our state and our country from severe weather and climate change,” said Senator Corey Booker. “I’m heartened by the progress we’ve made in rebuilding Port Monmouth to be more resilient. I remain committed to strengthening our state’s critical infrastructure and protecting New Jerseyans from future disasters.”
“On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, we remember the lives lost and the destruction caused by the superstorm,” said Rep. Gregory W. Meeks. “While there has been much progress made to rebuild New York more remains to be done. During my time in Congress, I have advocated and secured more than $1 billion in federal funding for storm risk reduction projects. It is critical that we combat the existential threat of climate change as it increases in frequency and severity which has led to catastrophic natural disasters. Hurricane and storm damage risk reduction systems are investments in lessening the harm following a disaster. Over the next few years, I look forward to working with the Army Corps, as well as our New York State and City agencies and partners to implement these projects designed to safeguard our communities, protect our homes, and our loved ones from severe weather events.”
“As we mark the 10th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and recognize its devastating impact on New Yorkers, our work to build stronger, more resilient shoreline communities continues across Long Island and New York City,” said Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State. “I thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New York’s Congressional Delegation for their investments, partnership, and dedication to advance storm resiliency initiatives with our state and local partners, and reaffirm my administration’s commitment to strengthen communities, prepare for future storms, and invest in solutions to protect New Yorkers from climate change-driven extreme storms.”
“Superstorm Sandy was a game-changer in every way, but the response from USACE and our partners at the federal, state, and local levels has also been unprecedented,” said COL Matthew Luzzatto, commander, New York District. “We were on the ground directly after the storm hit and have continued to work diligently within these communities to build comprehensive, long-term solutions. Our commitment to solving the Nation’s toughest engineering challenges remains strong and I look forward to working in collaboration with all of our partners as we continue to execute these vital coastal storm risk reduction projects.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “In the decade since Superstorm Sandy battered the Northeast, DEC worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on state, federal, and local storm recovery and resiliency projects to protect our communities while also restoring the environment. As an active partner in more than 25 projects, DEC is working with the Corps to restore beaches, construct dunes and barriers, and reduce coastal storm risks to protect New Yorkers and help communities adapt to climate change. We look forward to building upon that progress with State investments guided by Governor Kathy Hochul’s leadership in collaboration with our regional partners.”
“We have been working diligently in the years since Hurricane Sandy with our partners at USACE and DEC to advance long-term erosion and storm resiliency measures to protect the communities that call the Rockaways home,” said Kizzy Charles-Guzman, Executive Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice. “As we face a future with more frequent and more intense coastal storms, these efforts are critical to ensuring coastal communities will be stronger and more resilient to these storms in the decades to come. We thank the USACE and our federal and state partners for putting these solutions into action.”
New York District personnel played key roles in the response efforts following Superstorm Sandy including the removal of approximately 475 million gallons of salt water from critical infrastructure around lower Manhattan and New Jersey, the removal of more than 3.6 million cubic yards of debris from the five boroughs, and direct support to the U.S. Coastguard to reopen New York/New Jersey harbor by pulling an estimated 212,000 cubic yards of hazardous debris from the water in less than three weeks.
New York District is currently in the midst of executing a Superstorm Sandy Coastal Storm Risk Reduction program funded under Public Law 113-2, the Emergency Supplemental Bill passed shortly after Superstorm Sandy. This $6B comprehensive portfolio required repair and restoration of 8 existing projects–most of which were substantially completed by December 2014—less than 18 months after construction began in July 2013 at a cost of $242M. Over 15.2 million cubic yards of sand was placed on beaches for projects in New York City, Long Island, and Northern New Jersey. Another $158M effort saw the District repair 29 federally maintained navigation projects for channels and structures impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
In addition to executing the response and recovery phases of its program, New York District also completed work on five (5) coastal storm risk reduction projects to increase resiliency and better prepare communities for future storms including:
Long Beach, New York ($125M) – Construction of this project included 4 new groins and the rehabilitation of 18 existing groins, installing 284,000 tons of rock, and widening the beach with 4.1 million cubic yards to reinforce sand dunes, which play a crucial role in flood risk reduction. The project was completed in March 2020.
Downtown Montauk, New York ($15M) – This coastal storm risk reduction project was fast-tracked to provide protection for commercial businesses directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy and make them more resilient against future storms. This effort involved dune reinforcement along 3,100 ft of shoreline in an effort to provide additional measures against coastal storms. Construction was completed in May 2016.
Coney Island, New York ($33M) – This project included the construction of 4 new T-groin structures and placement of 70,000 cubic yards of sand in Sea Gate to protect the integrity of the existing coastal storm risk reduction project at Coney Island that reduces risk to the residents of the adjacent communities. The project was completed in June 2016.
Fire Island to Moriches Inlet, New York ($291M) – New York District placed over 7 million cubic yards of sand along the shores of Long Island to increase resiliency while also incorporating a series of house relocations into its design in Davis Park to make way for a line of protective dunes. All coastal storm risk management features (beach and dunes) were completed in June 2020.
Elberon to Loch Arbor, New Jersey ($155M) – New York District used technical expertise and cutting-edge innovation to complete the three-mile Elberon to Loch Arbour reach portion of the Sandy Hook to Barnegat Inlet, NJ project. The erosion control project included 4.4 million cubic yards of sand placement beach fill, modification of existing outfalls and modification of an existing groin. Construction was completed in October 2018.
Nine (9) additional projects were authorized through the Superstorm Sandy Supplemental Bill, six of which are currently in progress.
Rockaway, New York ($702M) – New York District is currently working on a comprehensive coastal storm risk reduction project that includes construction of a reinforced steel sheet pile dune, new and extended groins with beach restoration, and re-nourishment along the Atlantic Ocean shorefront. New York District is also working on a nature-based plan with structural features to be constructed on the Jamaica Bay shoreline to address coastal storm surge flooding. Two construction contracts totaling $340 million are ongoing along the shorefront until early 2026 while design work continues on the Jamaica Bay features with construction scheduled to start in 2025.
Fire Island to Montauk Point, New York ($1.8B) – New York District also continues to make good progress along the coastline of Long Island, specifically the south shore, using a series of solutions including the development of a breach response plan, home elevations, flood-proofing & acquisitions, coastal restoration, preserving natural resources, and adapting to sea level rise to provide additional flood risk reduction measures for approximately 83 miles of coastline when complete. Construction on the first two coastal restoration contracts is underway while design continues on the nonstructural features with the first series of home elevations scheduled to start by late 2024.
Montauk Point Lighthouse, New York ($44M) – In addition to its Fire Island to Montauk Point Project, New York District is also working on a project designed to protect the Montauk Point Lighthouse—a National Historical Landmark that was commissioned by President George Washington and built in 1796. The existing stone revetment that protects the bluff adjacent to the lighthouse is undergoing an upgrade to portions of its structure to increase resiliency due to the close proximity of the lighthouse to the ocean, ensuring it remains a beacon for everyone to see for years to come. Construction of the new stone revetment started in March 2021 and is expected to be completed by early 2023.
Minish Park, New Jersey ($72M) – New York District just completed the first phase of a coastal storm risk reduction project that will have the added benefit of helping revitalize a former industrial area along the Lower Passaic River in the downtown area of Newark, N.J. The first phase involved construction of 6,000 feet of new bulkhead, 3,200 feet of restored riverbank and creation of wetlands. Additional phases of the project will see construction of a 9,200-foot waterfront walkway as well as park facilities, plazas, and landscaping. The most recent contract was completed in July 2021 with two more construction contracts scheduled for award in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
Port Monmouth, New Jersey ($265M) – New York District is in the midst of executing several contracts designed to construct a comprehensive coastal storm risk reduction project in Port Monmouth using a series of levees, floodwalls, tide gates, pump stations, terminal groins, dunes, and beach nourishment to increase resiliency for the residents of these communities. Four construction contracts have been completed with another recently awarded and two more scheduled for award in 2023.
Union Beach Coastal Storm Risk Reduction Project, New Jersey ($382M) – New York District will begin construction in Spring 2023 on a coastal storm risk reduction project in Union Beach that includes a series of levees, floodwalls, pump stations, tide gates, terminal groins, dunes, and beach nourishment to increase resiliency for these communities. This area suffered extensive damage to the Raritan Bay coastline, widespread power outages & flooding, extensive damage to residential, commercial, and public property. The first contract was recently awarded and will include the construction of two terminal stone groins, a beach berm, and dunes.
Additional projects involving the South Shore of Staten Island in New York, and Passaic River Tidal Protection Area in New Jersey are also expected to begin construction shortly. New York District also recently released its draft feasibility report and integrated Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement concerning the NY/NJ Harbor and Tributaries Study for agency and public review. The study is expected to provide additional coastal storm risk reduction options for at risk communities throughout New York City and surrounding areas in the harbor estuary. The public comment period ends on January 6, 2023.
To learn more about the New York District’s efforts tied to Superstorm Sandy see below: