Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand, Bishop, Israel, King, Mccarthy, Meeks, Weiner Urge President Obama To Grant Federal Disaster Declaration For New York Beaches Devastated By Recent Storms

Dec 15, 2009

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representatives Tim
Bishop, Steve Israel, Peter King, Carolyn McCarthy, Greg Meeks, and Anthony
Weiner called on President Obama to grant a federal disaster declaration as
soon as possible for the Long Island and New York beaches ravaged by recent
storms, making them eligible for federal disaster aid to pay for the
significant repairs required. The initial damage estimates show that Long
Island is well above the required minimum needed to be eligible for aid. Damage
and erosion up and down the Long Island shore line have created a near crisis
situation, with dunes so severely eroded they are at risk for breach this

storms have stripped bare too many of Long Island’s and Rockaway’s beaches,
leaving them vulnerable to dune breaches, flooding and damage to nearby homes
and roads, when the next storm hits,” Senator Schumer said. “That is why
I am urging President Obama to immediately grant a federal disaster declaration
for the New York beaches ravaged by the recent nor’easter.  I will
continue to work with the delegation to ensure New Yorkers access deserved
federal support to counter-act the massive beach erosion.”

is critical that we open up additional funds for the replenishment of beaches
on Long Island and in the Rockaways as quickly as possible,” Senator
said. “We cannot sit here and wait for a severe winter storm to
devastate coastal communities throughout New York. Now that Governor Paterson
has requested a federal disaster declaration, I will work with the entire
delegation to ensure FEMA comes through on their part. Resident on Long Island
and in the Rockaways should not be left shouldering all of the cost.”

applaud the Governor for responding to my request for action concerning the
urgent needs of the south shore of Long Island. I trust the Administration will
take the appropriate actions to ensure our communities have adequate protection
against future storms and that our maritime industries do not face further
economic burden,” said Congressman Bishop, who first petitioned Gov.
Paterson last week to request a federal declaration. “In the coming weeks, I
will be coordinating a meeting between Federal, State and local agencies to
determine the most effective steps forward toward protecting the resources and
assets of south shore communities.”

Island’s beaches have taken a beating. We need a federal disaster declaration
now to save and preserve one of New York’s greatest treasures,” said Congressman

shoreline has become extremely vulnerable from the damage caused by recent
storms, and that is why I am strongly urging FEMA to make Long Island eligible
for emergency funds,” said Congressman King.  “We must act quickly
to restore our washed-out beaches, so that they may continue to serve as the
first line of defense against storm damage and flooding.”

thank Governor Patterson for requesting a federal disaster declaration for Long
Island. I appreciate the lead taken by Senators Schumer and Gillibrand on this
issue, and I will continue to work with the rest of the delegation to ensure
that the federal government does its part in helping Long Islanders make
necessary restorations.  If we do not respond now and fix the beach
erosion, other winter storms will threaten not just our beaches but nearby
homes and roads,” Congresswoman McCarthy said.

must work together now to address the erosion crisis besieging New York’s
beaches and shores,” stated Congressman Meeks. “I have personally
witnessed the devastation of Rockaway’s beaches and have real concerns as to
how this will further affect our communities and our economy.  Last
month’s storm was an indication of what further damage we can expect this
winter and we must ensure that we are prepared to replenish and protect our
beaches with FEMA’s help.  I support Governor Paterson’s request for a
federal disaster declaration and will continue to advocate for all the
necessary resources.”  

are now one windy day away from losing substantial parts of New York’s
coastline, and that is unacceptable,” Congressman Weiner said. “New York
City has nearly 600 miles of waterfront, and we need to be doing everything
possible to ensure that New Yorkers’ lives and property are protected from
dangerous erosion, no matter the weather conditions. That is why we need
Federal aid to help pay for repairs as soon as possible.”

Congressional Delegation’s letter to President Obama is attached.