Will The Beach Be Here for Summer?

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The beaches are supposed to open in a month, on May 26, but problem is, in some areas, there won’t be much beach to use. More than five million people used Rockaway’s beaches last summer and that number is expected to grow this season, but where are they supposed to go? As the beach season nears, the problem of erosion, which appears to be worse than ever, is a tremendous concern.

Last week, the Parks Department closed off the entrance to the Beach 91st Street ramp, which is looking more and more like a boat dock with each high tide. If you’re able to make your way down to that beach in that area, the level of erosion is alarming. In that area, the dunes built after Hurricane Sandy, now have a seven-foot drop off from the water chipping away at it over the past year.

We reached out to the Parks Department for a comment on the ramp situation, to which a spokesperson replied, "Some of the beach access points along the boardwalk were closed because of a steep drop off at the end of the ramps. We will grade the sand before beach season to correct this issue and ensure that all access points to the beach are safe for visitors."

As for the erosion issue and need for protection? Well, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has pushed their protection plan timeline up to 2019, rather than 2020, but the evidence is clear—we need help, NOW.

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