Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce That Provision To Quickly Complete The Rockaway Reformulation Project And Protect The Rockaway Peninsula From Storm And Erosion Damage Is Included In Recently Passed America’s Water Infrastructure Act

Oct 19, 2018

Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today announced that the recently passed America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 includes a provision that directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to quickly complete the Rockaway Reformulation Project. This project will evaluate solutions to protect the Rockaway Peninsula from long-term erosion and evaluate coastal protection projects along the Atlantic Coast between East Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay. The bill authorizes the Army Corps to proceed directly to preconstruction planning, engineering and design if the Secretary of the Army determines if the project is justified when the report is complete.

“The residents of the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay have waited far too long for the completion of this project. This provision will build on the agreement I struck with Army Corps Colonel Asbery to speed up the Rockaway Reformulation Project so this community can finally benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars that I worked hard to secure through the Sandy Relief bill. Now, it’s time for the Army Corps to listen carefully to feedback from local residents as they work to build a truly resilient future for Rockaway and Jamaica Bay,” said Senator Schumer.

“We are seeing stronger storms hitting our coastlines, and we need to make sure that New York communities have the infrastructure and necessary plans in place to protect their homes and businesses,” said Senator Gillibrand, member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “With this provision, the Rockaway Peninsula will be one step closer to having a comprehensive, coordinated plan to manage future storm damage. The devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy was a wakeup call for the urgent need to protect our shorelines. I was proud to include the provision to expedite the Rockaway Reformulation Project in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 and I am pleased that this legislation will soon be signed into law. I will always to work with my colleagues in the Senate to make sure New York has the resources necessary to protect our local waterways and coastal areas.”

The Rockaway Beach shoreline has experienced numerous severe hurricanes and northeasters over the last forty years, causing substantial damage to commercial and residential properties to the Rockaway Peninsula. Once complete, the Rockaway Reformulation feasibility study would help create a much-needed comprehensive plan to manage potential future storm damage and prevent loss of life in the region when the next major storm comes.

The bipartisan America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 authorizes studies and projects carried out by the USACE for the primary purposes of navigation, flood protection, and aquatic ecosystem restoration.