U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $2,504,629.58 in federal funding for the Village of Saltaire in Suffolk County. These federal funds are administered through U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will be used to repair Lighthouse Promenade Walkway from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. Lighthouse Promenade Walkway serves as an essential part of the Fire Island Emergency Access Route. It would be used by the residents, workers, and visitors of Fire Island in the event of an emergency and if ferries were inoperable between Long Island and Fire Island. It is estimated that 95 percent of communities living on Fire Island would use Lighthouse Promenade Walkway to evacuate to Long Island. Two planning studies, the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plan Report and Suffolk County’s All Hazard Mitigation Plan, have called to preserve Lighthouse Promenade from further deterioration.
“Superstorm Sandy decimated communities across Fire Island, including the Village of Saltaire. We have been fighting tooth and nail to build stronger and more resilient communities in the aftermath of Sandy by delivering federal dollars such as these,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “With these funds, the Village of Saltaire will be able to repair the Lighthouse Promenade and its vital roadway, which serves the entire barrier island as the only emergency access route in the event of an evacuation. I will continue to fight for federal funds for Fire Island and other impacted communities to fortify infrastructure against future weather events.”
“Lighthouse Promenade is an important part of the Fire Island community,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This funding is a critical investment that will finally repair Lighthouse Promenade Walkway from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, improve its resiliency to better withstand future storms, and help ensure the safety of all who would use it. I will continue to fight for the resources New Yorkers need to fully rebuild from the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.”
“The Village is pleased that FEMA understands the strategic importance of Lighthouse Promenade for all of Fire Island, as well as the importance of its reconstruction with a design and materials that meet the highest standards of flood resiliency,” said Mayor John A. Zaccaro, Jr. “This reconstruction follows the Village’s goal of remaining resilient in the face of the increasing risk of climate change impacts which has been has actively pursued since the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.”
FEMA provided this funding through its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), which provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. The HMGP is authorized under Section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.