Living Breakwaters project: Can it protect us from future storms?
Updated on March 23, 2017 at 12:45 PM
Posted on March 23, 2017 at 6:00 AM
BY SUSAN LUNNY KEAG
By June 2018, construction is expected to begin on the project, which would not be possible, Zablocki said, without the help of the Billion Oyster Project, the Tottenville Civic Association, the Tottenville Historical Society, the NY/NJ Baykeeper and the city Parks Department.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- When Hurricane Sandy hit the borough in October 2012, it took the lives of 24 Staten Islanders, demolishing homes and businesses, due largely to the storm's surge.
While communities like Dongan Hills, Midland Beach, Oakwood Beach, Ocean Breeze and South Beach were all devastated, Tottenville -- located at the southernmost point of Staten Island -- experienced some of the most destructive waves.
A year later, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched a competition -- Rebuild by Design (RBD) -- to respond to Sandy's devastation in the northeast region of the United States.
In June 2014, following a year-long, community-based design process in which the design teams met regional experts from elected officials to local groups and individuals, HUD announced the winning proposals. The Staten Island Living Breakwaters Project was one of them.
The project was awarded $60 million of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds to implement Living Breakwaters. The project is located in the waters of Raritan Bay, along the shoreline of Tottenville and Conference House Park.
"The breakwaters are engineered in a way to attenuate waves that are coming primarily from the southwest direction," said Alex Zablocki, senior program manager and RBD Living Breakwaters Project Manager, Governor's Office of Storm Recovery. "So it's meant to break down the wave action for storms like Sandy or lower level storms we've seen in Irene or other tropical storms or nor'easters, and prevent erosion and help rebuild the shoreline's sand."