Archive for the tag 'army corps of engineers'

Four Sparrow Marsh, Flatbush Avenue near the Belt Parkway (Photo by Adrian Kinloch via Slate).

Four Sparrow Marsh, Flatbush Avenue near the Belt Parkway. (Photo by Adrian Kinloch via Slate)

English photographer Adrian Kinloch submitted a gorgeous photo essay detailing the strange fringe between the end of the city and the edge of nature, which is, apparently, a place called Southern Brooklyn. Kinloch’s dazzling photo essay, submitted to Slate, covers the areas near the Belt Parkway, Coney Island Creek, Mill Basin and Marine Park Beach and includes an interesting rumination on local history, environmental concerns and the unique way nature reabsorbs man-made objects.

One passage I found particularly interesting was Kinloch’s exploration of Coney Island Creek, where he touched on its history and the challenges the city faces in trying to clean it up:

For the barges of Coney Island Creek, it was containerized shipping, not the railways, that spelled the end of their working life. In the 1960s, their owners scuttled or burned the vessels, and they have been there ever since. Industry on the creek dates back as far as the 1660s, when Dirck De Wolfe opened his saltworks. The saltworks were burned to the ground, too, by furious locals after De Wolfe refused to let them pasture their cows nearby.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to clean up Coney Island Creek and its environs, restoring them to their original pristine state. But when I ran into some guys from the Army Corps of Engineers, they said this task is nearly impossible—if you move any of those rotting barges, all the diesel and toxic chemicals encased in the silt will escape up to the surface.

Interesting, yet depressing, stuff. To see all the images and read the entirety of Kinloch’s observations, click here.

Chair and miscellaneous objects, Marine Park Salt Marsh. (Photo by Adiran Kinloch via Slate)

Chair and miscellaneous objects, Marine Park Salt Marsh. (Photo by Adiran Kinloch via Slate)

Marty Golden, Photo By Erica Sherman

Marty Golden, (Photo By Erica Sherman)

State Senator Marty Golden is hosting a town hall meeting tomorrow night for people in Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach and Gerritsen Beach who were affected by Superstorm Sandy. Brooklyn News is reporting that Golden has invited a slew of officials representing various city, state and federal agencies to interact with attendees and answer questions relating to the continuing recovery effort.

Brooklyn News listed the agencies that the officials will be culled from as well as Golden’s remarks encouraging residents affected by Sandy to make it to the meeting:

Senator Golden will welcome officials from Build It Back, National Flood Insurance Program, Small Business Administration, The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Financial Services, The Army Corps of Engineers, The New York City Department of Buildings, The Health Department, City of New York, The New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and The New York City Department of Transportation.

“Almost 11 months after Hurricane Sandy, many residents still need help with rebuilding, insurance, and getting back on their feet,” said Senator Golden (R-C-I). “I urge all residents of my district who are still facing Hurricane related issues to come to this meeting and take advantage of all the different agencies present. By working together, we can make sure that all those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy get their lives and homes back to normal.”

The meeting is schedule for tomorrow, September 25, at 7 p.m. at Public School 277 located at 2529 Gerritsen Avenue.

Photo Courtesy of Christine Finn

Photo Courtesy of Christine Finn

The following is a press release from the offices of Senator Charles Schumer:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the $7.2 million contract awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers to place 600,000 cubic yards of sand along Coney Island is scheduled to be pumped this upcoming weekend. Schumer fought for and secured approval for this emergency project as part of the Coney Island Reach project, which extends from West 37th Street to Brighton Beach.

“Coney Island was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and soon, its beaches will be well on their way to being protected against future flooding,” said Schumer. “This emergency project is critical to Coney Island beachgoers and homeowners and that’s why I fought hard to make sure this replenishment project had funding necessary from the Sandy Relief Bill. It is gratifying to see this work about to begin.”

The Coney Island Reach project, which extends from West 37th Street to Brighton Beach, consists of approximately 3 miles of beachfront which provides storm damage reduction to the densely populated communities and infrastructure located along the shoreline of Coney Island.

Through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (the Sandy Relief Bill, or PL 113-2), the Corps of Engineers is authorized to restore certain previously constructed projects impacted by Hurricane Sandy to their original design profile. Through this legal authority, the Corps of Engineers is authorized to place the additional sand at Coney Island to restore the project area to its original design profile. PL 113-2 also allocated the funds for the coastal restoration work.

Schumer today announced that the Corps expects the work will begin the weekend of September 7th and will pump 600,000 cubic yards of sand along Coney Island.

Plumb Beach Bike Path Destroyed By Hurricane Ida

Plumb Beach immediately after Hurricane Ida in 2009. The stretch of bike path has since been removed, and erosion has beaten back the shoreline even more.

ONLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: The money’s finally in the pot to make long-awaited repairs to a section of bicycle path that crumbled into the waters off Plumb Beach nearly four years ago.

Councilman Lew Fidler informed Sheepshead Bites that he has allocated $450,000 in the Fiscal Year 2014 city budget to shore up and lay new asphalt to approximately 300 feet of bike path at Plumb Beach, after Hurricane Ida caused the stretch to fall into the sea in 2009. The path is currently closed, and has long been neglected as officials slowly rolled out plans to fight erosion at the beach, and quibbled about whether or not funding was available.

The money was allocated to the Parks Department, which is responsible for maintaining the path, Fidler said, and it should cover the entire job. But if $450,000 seems to be a high price tag for 300 feet of asphalt, Fidler said the funds were justified by the path’s important location as a physical barrier between the water and the Belt Parkway.

“Anyone who thinks it is no more than laying asphalt isn’t remembering why it needs to be done to begin with. It collapsed. It needs to be rebuilt,” he said. “If it doesn’t cost $450,000, the excess money will be returned. Better than if the amount is short, which delays the project for another fiscal year.”

It’s unclear, however, when work will begin on project. Parks projects often take three to four years before the first shovel hits the ground, as the department engages in surveys and studies in the run-up to construction. Representatives from the Parks Department said it’s too soon to tell if the bike path will follow the same schedule.

“It’s too early right now to have details on this since FY 2014 doesn’t begin until July 1. After the funding is confirmed we will start the process of survey and design, then develop a bid and procure a contractor. Next month we should have a better idea of when work is expected to begin,” Parks spokesperson Meghan Lalor wrote in an e-mail to Sheepshead Bites last week.

Fidler, though, is more optimistic.

“I assume it will go forward more expeditiously than most jobs once the Plumb Beach restoration is done,” he said.

Fidler said in 2012 that funding for the project would come from $9 million he allocated for the construction of nearby Brigham Street Park. At the time, however, Parks claimed that those funds would only go to the park itself, and there remained no funding for bike path repairs.

The Plumb Beach parking lot and bicycle path are currently closed, as contractors secured by the Army Corps of Engineers continue the second and final phase of erosion protection at the beach. The site – a former channel that separated Plumb Beach from the mainland and allowed water to pass through into Shell Bank Creek before the creation of the Belt Parkway – has long been victim to nature’s fury. After years of erosion ate away the coastline in an attempt to reclaim the channel, the beach was shored up in 1992. Over the next decade, the new sand washed away, reviving calls from groups like the Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association for a long-term fix. After Hurricane Ida pummeled the beach in 2009, when water threatened the Belt Parkway’s resiliency and obliterated the bike path, Army Corps began studying possible fixes, and determined it would restore the sand, add vegetation that would hold it in place, and construct two stone groins and a breakwater that would keep sand from drifting away.

Contractors closed the parking lot and bike path to stage their equipment as they begin the second phase of the project – constructing the groins and breakwater, and planting vegetation.

The plan to protect Plumb Beach includes a breakwater and two stone groins at both ends of the beach.

plumb-beach

As we all know by now, the Army Corps of Engineers has been hard at work replenishing sand at Plumb Beach and installing long-term fixes to prevent against future erosion.

At ground level, the one thing you notice is that, hey, there’s actually a beach again in that area near the parking lot closest to the Belt Parkway. That section was the most heavily eroded, with just a few feet of sand bags between the water and the highway. Now there’s a nice stretch of sand. Other than that, though, it’s hard to see the extent of the work.

Until now. A local photographer who asked not to be named sent in this fantastic aerial photo of Plumb Beach after the Army Corps of Engineers completed phase one of the project, in which they pumped in fresh sand from the Ambrose Channel. That’s Gerritsen Beach in the forground.

In phase two of the project, Army Corps contractors have closed off the parking lot and bike path as they bring in equipment. They’ll be constructing two rock jetties at either end of the eroded section. One will go near where the sand roughly drops away in the photo above, and the other will be just at the right edge of the image. They’ll also add a groin in the middle – a man-made sandbar of sorts that will help diminish the power of the waves before they strike the sand.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced plans to kick off the second phase of construction on Plumb Beach in April, but say they’ll have to close the parking lot and detour the damaged bike path until the end of the year.

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Hours before Superstorm Sandy rolled in, Manhattan Beach was already under water. (Photo by Max T.)

The Army Corps of Engineers canceled plans to speak before the Manhattan Beach Community Group less than 24 hours before tonight’s meeting, according to the group’s president, who claims that the corps is “embarrassed” by their lack of coastal protection plans.

The Army Corps of Engineers contacted the group yesterday to inform them a representative would not attend, said MBCG President Ira Zalcman, despite weeks of planning that included a dozen or so demands from the agency.

“They gave us a list of things that they wanted, like security, parking, it was 10 to 15 items. We were trying to do them, and reassure them that security would be okay,” Zalcman told Sheepshead Bites. “But they just kept on wanting things, then they wanted to get a different person to speak to us, blah blah blah.”

Zalcman said he’s not entirely sure of what spurred the last-minute dodge, but he’s got a theory.

“I don’t think they have anything to say, to be honest. I don’t think they wanted to be embarrassed,” he said.

“Either they have no plans or they’re afraid of,the grey tigers of Manhattan Beach,” Zalcman wrote on the organization’s website.

The Army Corps of Engineers recently received $20 million to study flood prone areas affected by Sandy and offer solutions for future storms. The study is still in the planning stages, according to a report yesterday.

MBCG was heavily promoting the meeting as a must-attend event for those in Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach and other coastal communities, as neighbors would have the opportunity to hear the corps’ plans for long-term protection from future storms like Superstorm Sandy, as well as offer input as the people with the the most at stake.

“I wanted them to keep us informed on an ongoing basis. We have a right to know what they’re thinking of, and they have to communicate with us,” Zalcman said. He added that the group has been working on the issue for several years before Superstorm Sandy, as Manhattan Beach has seen flooding – particular from the Bay and not the ocean – several times in the past two decades. “Whatever group, whatever forum, they need to start speaking to us.”

The Army Corps of Engineers did not immediately return a request for comment.

Tonight’s Manhattan Beach Community Group’s (MBCG) meeting will be held at 8:00 p.m. inside Public School 195, 131 Irwin Street.

Photo By Jeremy Drakeford

The New York District Army Corps of Engineers will perform an emergency dredging along the Atlantic Coast of New York City, including Jamaica Bay, for the purposes of beach nourishment, according to a report by Dredging Today.

The plan consists of dredging the federal navigation channel at Jamaica Bay and transferring the dredged up material to nourish Rockaway Beach.

Local residents have long wished for Sheepshead Bay to be dredged because the water in the Bay itself is too shallow, so it would be nice of the Army Corps of Engineers to swing by our parts and do a little digging – but it doesn’t look like we are being included in those plans.

A little duck walks around the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Source: peterjr1961 / Flickr

The Jamaica Bay Task Force (JBTF) will hold its next meeting January 29, 6:30 p.m. at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 175 Crossbay Boulevard in Broad Channel, Queens. The public is invited to attend and partake in the open discussion period.

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland will be on hand to discuss the DEP’s response to Superstorm Sandy and Gateway National Recreation Area Superintendent Linda Canzanelli will give the National Park Service’s update on damage to the Wildlife Refuge from Sandy.

Project Managers Dan Felt and Lenny Houston will highlight Jamaica Bay projects currently being undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers and Region 2 Director of the NYS DEC, Venetia Lannon, will talk about DEC’s response to Sandy.

A question and answer session will follow each presentation.

To learn more about what the JBTF does and how to get involved, contact Don Riepe of the American Littoral Society at (718) 318-9344/driepe@gmail.com or Dan Mundy of the Jamaica Bay EcoWatchers at (718) 634-5032/dmundy5032@aol.com.

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Local mariners have something to be happy about this New Year: the Department of Environmental Protection reversed course on plans to destroy a 78-year-old navigational aid between Manhattan Beach and Breezy Point that mariners say makes them safer and shows them the way home when gizmos can’t.

According to documents released under a Freedom of Information Law request filed by Sheepshead Bites, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection decided to leave a wastewater diffuser pipe that locals affectionately refer to as the “roundhouse” after sailors and other mariners objected to its removal.

“Comments received questioned whether it would be more advantageous to leave the existing outlet chamber in place,” DEP reps wrote to partnering agencies in a September 2012 letter. “If kept, it could serve as an underwater fish habitat and provide opportunity for sea birds to perch.”

It wasn’t just the environmentalists that the DEP sought to please; the agency determined the now defunct roundhouse served a crucial purpose for navigation, and as a marker for underwater infrastructure that could damage vessels.

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