Rep. Grimm Urges Parks to Use Sand from Great Kills Harbor Dredging to Replenish S.I.’s Eroded Shorelines

May 17, 2013 Issues: Superstorm Sandy

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-SI/Brooklyn) sent the following letter to the NYC Parks Commissioner urging Parks to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use the sand dredged from Great Kills Harbor to replenish the storm-ravaged beaches along Staten Island’s coastline.

“When it comes to our recovery efforts, we have to think creatively to maximize resources and stretch every federal dollar to its full potential. The Army Corps of Engineers is already scheduled to dredge Great Kills Harbor, so it would be foolish not to capitalize on the abundance of sand and use it to replenish our storm-ravaged shorelines,” said Rep. Grimm.

“NYC Parks has already identified two areas near the harbor for beach replenishment; however, it is projected that there will be an abundance of sand remaining. It would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t take advantage of the excess sand and available equipment onsite, which is why I am calling on Parks to work with the Corps in order to use every salvageable bit of dredged sand to replenish as many coastal areas in Staten Island as possible,” continued Rep. Grimm.

According to a public notice issued by the Corps, in fall 2013, Great Kills Harbor will undergo routine maintenance dredging with subsequent placement of the dredged material on portions of the eroded shoreline of Staten Island. Crescent Beach and Wolfe’s Pond Park are the only two identified sites. In anticipation of an abundance of sand, Rep. Grimm is asking that the additional dredged sand be used to replenish other vulnerable areas, such as Midland Beach, New Dorp and Tottenville.

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The text of the letter is below:

May 17, 2013

The Honorable Veronica M. White
Commissioner
New York City Parks Department
The Arsenal
Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Dear Commissioner White:

I write with regard to the abundance of sand expected to be produced by the dredging of Great Kills Harbor by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps).

As you know, the Corps has proposed to undertake maintenance dredging of Great Kills Harbor and use the resulting dredged material to restore some of Staten Island’s eroded shoreline.  It is my understanding that New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) already identified two prospective recipients of the sand – Crescent Beach and Wolfe’s Pond Park. However, these properties only have the capacity to accept no more than a third of what may be yielded by the dredging.

Given the widespread damage done to our shoreline, it is imperative that we do everything we can to ensure the full allotment of sand is put to beneficial use on Staten Island. Furthermore, if the equipment is already in place to move sand to the two designated areas, it only makes sense to move sand to other areas in need at the same time.  As we seek to stretch the value of each federal dollar, it would be foolish not to maximize resources or use this opportunity to replenish other eroded shorelines with the additional sand dredged from the harbor. 

There are a number of shoreline areas, including those along Midland Beach, New Dorp and Tottenville, that could be ideal candidates for restoration under this initiative, and I urge Parks to work with the Corps of Engineers to transport and place the additional dredged sand in these areas and other areas of need.

I look forward to working with you and other stakeholders at the state and federal level on this important matter in the coming weeks.

                                                                      Sincerely,

          MICHAEL G. GRIMM
          Member of Congress