Source: Susan Sterner via Wikimedia Commons

When Congress passed the $60 billion Sandy aid package this past January, they agreed to provide 65 percent of the needed funds to finance sea walls, and repair dunes and beaches for our area’s coastal communities. The idea was that the city and state would provide the remaining 35 percent of the money but thanks to Senator Charles Schumer, the feds have agreed to pick up the rest of the tab, according to a report in the New York Times.

The remaining 35 percent needed to complete the beach restoration projects, which totals $1.2 billion overall, amounts to $436 million. The new funds will help finance projects that will be administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The projects the money covers include dune protection and repair for several miles of beachfront property in Long Beach and other locations in Nassau County and hurricane prevention and beach erosion control along the coast of Fire Island.

Our area will receive beachfront repairs in Coney Island and Brighton Beach. The Rockaways and other parts of Brooklyn will also receive similar repairs.

Schumer stressed the importance of these projects to the Times”

“These are some of the most important projects in New York and you might even argue in the country in terms of protecting heavily populated areas from storms,” Senator Schumer, a Democrat, said. “They have been held up for decades — the Long Island one for 50 years — for lack of funding.”

The projects, some long dormant, will finally get some much needed attention and funding after Schumer loosened language that limited the Army Corps’ ability to finish the work.

Schumer hopes that their final completion will payoff in the case of a future devastating storm.

“If these projects had been completed when they should have been, we would have suffered much less damage,” Senator Schumer told the Times. “This is not sand replenishment. This is real damage control.”

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