Hochul announces $5M to help Suffolk County beaches battle erosion

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Tuesday, January 23, 2024
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SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- New York Governor Kathy Hochul making a strong effort to help Long Island's shorelines after recurrent storms have caused erosion and severe damage over the years.

Suffolk County's shoreline is about to get a boost.

Governor Hochul has announced a $5 million investment to fund for preservation and repair projects.

The majority of the money will go to communities on Fire Island.

In portions of the Pines community, the protective dune is completely gone, and homes are subject to direct wave damage.

The rest of the funds will be allocated to Overlook Beach and Gilgo State Park.

The beach pavilion and playground at Overlook Beach are currently in danger of being washed out to sea. The funding will help support the elevation of the pavilion and prevent the playground and other recreational assets from being damaged by future storms and beach erosion.

"Long Island communities are all too familiar with the destruction caused by extreme weather," Governor Hochul said. "In addition to New York's actions to combat climate change, we are taking action to ensure our communities, homes, and infrastructure are resilient and will withstand the coastal storms happening now. I'm committed to continuing our close partnership with the Army Corps and local officials to protect Long Island."

Following the debris removal at Gilgo State Park, the New York State Parks Department will place approximately 50,000 cubic yards of sand at the park entrance and other access points to be ready to accommodate park visitors by April 1, if conditions allow. Additionally, this work will help facilitate a planned project by the Army Corps to dredge Fire Island Inlet and place approximately one million cubic yards of sand along greater Gilgo State Park.

Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine said, "We thank Governor Hochul for her action to protect our beaches and waterfront communities. Each year we face the dire reality that we will lose more of our shoreline, creating a public safety emergency while also affecting the billions in tourism dollars that are generated by hundreds of thousands of visitors visiting our world-famous beaches and historic villages and landmarks. Governor Hochul's promise of aggressive action to combat this issue will no doubt assist us in preserving an entire way of life that has personified Long Island for generations."

Earlier this month, Governor Hochul announced a comprehensive resiliency plan to protect New Yorkers from extreme weather as part of her 2024 State of the State and included $435 million in the Executive Budget proposal to help implement the initiatives.

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