As New York continues to grapple with the effects of global climate change,Council Members Mark Levine and Mark Treyger will hold a joint oversight hearing to address the persistent issue of beach erosion in NYC. Among those set to testify are representatives from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, in addition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
New York City’s 578 miles of highly urbanized coastline, including the 14 miles of beaches managed by the City’s Parks Department, makes the City particularly vulnerable to beach erosion which has already caused billions of dollars in damage to both the City and its citizens. According to the latest research, the average erosion rate for NYC Beaches on the south shore of Long Island is between 1 and 2 feet per year. Though that erosion rate is comparatively lower to the rest of East Coast, the City’s south shore tends to experience significant long-term erosion during major coastal storms. Hurricane Sandy for example displaced approximately 1.5 million cubic yards of sand from along the coast and into backyards, basements and City streets when it devastated New York in 2012. To assess the issue, the joint oversight hearing will examine:
· How beach erosion is tracked and the current condition of the City’s beaches
· The various causes of beach erosion
· What short and long term measures can be taken to address the issue
· The work that various government entities have already undertaken to renourish New York City beaches and manage future erosion
· How vulnerable the City and its beaches are to another major coastal storm
· The impact of state and federal funding for restoring and preserving NYC’s beaches