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Robert Moses beach erosion

July 3, 2009 3:09:53 PM PDT
Field 5 at Robert Moses State Park attracts 10,000 people when the weather is just right. It is the most popular of all of the park's beaches, but getting smaller by the day. Betty Daly says, "I just know that it's a great loss."

Lifeguard Pat Mulligan agrees.

"This is the smallest beach I've been working here since 1994, and it's the smallest now I've ever seen it."

Beach erosion has reared its ugly head going from spotty to severe over the past few months at field 5.

It has wiped out the most beachfront anyone has seen in decades.

It is now 30 to 60 feet of erosion.

George Gorman with NYS Parks says, "We just don't have enough sand for people to lay blankets down during high tide. Water is right up to the dunes; you can't put a blanket on it."

Half of the beach is now off limits all summer, potentially from unusually wild weather over the past year.

A lifeguard says, "Last July we had a ground swell. I don't think the beach had time to come back. More storms than usual natural occurrence."

The beachfront most likely won't be replenished before next summer.

It is a process that would cost millions of dollars anyway to haul sand in. Officials suggest neighboring field 4.

They say it has everything you need, except it does not have the memories thousands of Long Islanders say they've made at a beach that's been around for 100 years. Emily Smith


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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