The Long Beach protection project - which includes the Jones Inlet - will receive full federal funding, announced Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, Tuesday night.
The Sandy relief bill that was signed into law required only that the feds pick up 65 percent of the project cost, but that amount could be increased if the projects met the criteria of “on-going construction” and are updated to make them stronger, more resilient, and offer better protection against storms.
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An interim report Tuesday released by the USACE confirms that the Long Beach project will be considered “ongoing construction,” and therefore eligible for full federal funding.
“...we’ve turned this project, long a dream of Long Beach residents, into a reality,” said Schumer. “By agreeing to pick up the full tab for this project, the federal government has virtually guaranteed that this critical coastal protection project, will be built – and it will save money for local taxpayers. Homeowners and residents in Lido Beach, Point Lookout, East Atlantic Beach and Long Beach can feel a little more secure knowing that vital protections, in the form of dunes, will now be constructed.”
Immediately after the bill’s passage, Schumer began working with the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Office of Management and Budget to lay out a strategic pathway for this project, and others, to be considered as “ongoing construction” and modified to adapt to the changing climate and therefore eligible for full federal funding.
The project area is located on the south shore of Long Island from Jones Inlet to East Rockaway Inlet and consists of approximately nine miles of oceanfront. A historical low height and narrow width of the beach front has increased the potential for storm damage.
The recommended plan would provide dune protection against a 100-year storm event for 7 of the 9 miles of public shoreline between Jones Inlet and East Rockaway Inlet, including the communities of Point Lookout, Lido Beach and the City of Long Beach.
The estimated cost of this project is $150 million.