Petition Closed
Petitioning City Council President, Long Beach, New York Mr. Len Torres and 8 others

Mr. Len Torres, City Council President, City of Long Beach, New York: Incorporate a protective storm barrier into city rehabilitation plans

The inclusion of a protective storm barrier is a stronger, smarter, and safer solution to protect the city from future flood threats.

Letter to
City Council President, Long Beach, New York Mr. Len Torres
City Council Vice President, Long Beach, New York Scott J. Mandel
City Council Member, Long Beach, New York Fran Adelson
and 6 others
City Council Member, Long Beach, New York Michael Fagan
City Council Member, Long Beach, New York John C. McLaughlin
City Manager, Long Beach, New York Jack Schnirman
Representative Carolyn Mccarthy 2
State Representative Harvey Weisenberg
State Senator Dean Skelos
I am aware that the City of Long Beach is in the midst of planning how it will reconstruct our boardwalk and protect our city from future floods like those experienced as a result of Superstorm Sandy. A stronger, smarter, and safer solution should incorporate the construction of a protective storm barrier underneath or alongside the reconstruction of the boardwalk.

As a resident of the City of Long Beach and/or frequent user of the Beach Park, I am writing to make sure that the City engages in a plan that will best fit the needs of Long Beach. I am aware that the city is communicating with various engineering entities, including the Army Corps of Engineers, and has options on the table with respect to how to best protect the city. I have become familiar with the options presented and believe that any plan must involve the construction of a protective storm barrier similar to the one described by the plan produced by Coastal Planning and Engineering. Moreover, I am aware that this plan has been in the City’s possession since 2009. Regardless of who the city contracts with to repair and protect our city and beaches, the plan must include a protective storm barrier such as the one proposed by C, P & E. Other municipalities in our region are considering, or have already incorporated a protective storm surge/flood barrier in their post-Sandy reconstruction (See “On Ravaged Coastline, It’s Rebuild Deliberately vs. Rebuild Now, The New York Times, 22 December 2012). Such a barrier running the stretch of our city does not preclude the restoration and construction of dunes across the rest of Long Beach Island in outlying parts of Long Beach and the across the whole of the Town of Hempstead. As these dunes however will take time to construct and you are making plans to rebuild the boardwalk now, it makes sense to incorporate a protective barrier during this initial phase.

The construction of dunes, especially without a barrier wall behind them where appropriate, will only provide temporary protection from future storms like Sandy. Large storm surges will only force sand into the streets once again, and the dunes will have to be replenished after a significant flood event. I do not believe it is smart to undertake an expensive project that will likely require continuing revenue streams in the future. The smart solution is to use the economic and political capital we have acquired in the last two months to direct resources towards a ‘protection solution’ that is more sustainable and suited to our city.

The C, P & E plan also provides for the development of protective measures to address flooding from the bay side of Long Beach Island. As so much of the most severe property damage from Sandy was caused from flooding from the bay, (again, see article cited above) the city must address future protective needs in this regard as well.

Please know that the choice to pursue what is best for our home is in your hands, and you can help direct whatever plan is implemented in a way that is best suited for our city. Since the storm, city updates have consistently declared that we will “rebuild Stronger, Smarter and Safer!” I ask you to follow through with this pledge and do what is right to protect our home. Thank you for reading.