Coney Island

Schumer says feds should make shoreline storm resilient

Wants Southern Brooklyn included in study

February 25, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Superstorm Sandy left the shoreline of Southern Brooklyn with severe damage in 2012. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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A group of elected officials led by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to include Southern Brooklyn in any coastal protection projects it recommends in a new study of mitigation and resiliency programs in the New York/New Jersey harbor.

Schumer (D-New York) and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Coney Island-Canarsie-Eastern Brooklyn) successfully pushed for passage of an appropriations bill that included federal funding for a New York/New Jersey harbor feasibility study.

The study will examine Sandy-related coastal flooding, test various solutions to prevent flooding in the future and make recommendations on how to alleviate flooding.

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What Schumer and Jeffries want now is for Army Corps of Engineers to make sure the study’s recommendations include coastal protection projects for Southern Brooklyn communities like Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Canarsie and Coney Island

Councilmembers Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) and Chaim Deutsch (D-Manhattan Beach-Sheepshead Bay) joined with Schumer and Jeffries to urge the Army Corps of Engineers to address concerns in Southern Brooklyn.

The Army Corps did complete a sand placement project on the Coney Island beach following Superstorm Sandy, but did not study a system of protections for Southern Brooklyn, Schumer said.

“We all remember the significant flooding Superstorm Sandy caused throughout areas in Southern Brooklyn, and it is critical that these communities are not ignored by the Army Corps as they propose mitigation projects throughout New York,” Schumer said.

Jeffries, who said it is critical that Southern Brooklyn be included in the report, noted that progress has been made in repairing communities hit hard by Sandy. “Superstorm Sandy decimated many of the communities I represent throughout Southern Brooklyn, including Seagate and Coney Island. We have come a long way in helping area residents rebuild and repair their lives, but there is much more to be done,” he said.

The affects of Sandy are still being felt by residents, Deutsch said. “For more than three years since Hurricane Sandy, my district has suffered from incremental flooding. High tide, sewer backups, and forecasts of stormy weather have the residents of Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach living in fear,” he said.

Treyger, chairman of the City Council Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, said other areas of the city have gotten more attention. “Hundreds of millions of dollars have been committed for resiliency work to the Rockaways, to Lower Manhattan and to Staten Island. All Southern Brooklyn has gotten so far is a Coney Island Creek study and some sand,” he said.

The federal government needs to take a comprehensive approach, according to Treyger. “Over three years since Superstorm Sandy and our communities are still vulnerable to another extreme coastal weather event. We need a regional coastline protection plan for all of Southern Brooklyn that safeguards life, property and affordability against climate change and rising sea levels,” he said.

A Sandy relief bill approved by Congress included $20 million for a study to identify vulnerable coastal populations from Virginia to Maine that were affected by the massive storm.

Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast of the U.S. on Oct. 29, 2012, killed 72 people and caused $50 billion in damage.

At the end of 2015, Schumer secured federal funding in an appropriations bill for a feasibility study in the New York/New Jersey harbor. 

Schumer, Jeffries, Deutsch and Treyger called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make sure Southern Brooklyn communities are included in the final recommendations contained in the report.


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