U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced $46,965,661 in federal funding to the New York Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on behalf of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation for repairs to three buildings containing public services for the Beaches in Rockaway. OMB will also be reimbursed for repairs made to four boardwalk sections, known as “entry islands,” which provide public access to the beaches. The facilities were damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy and repairs were necessary in order for Rockaway’s beaches to open up in time for the summer after the storm.
“Rockaway is home to some of the best beaches in New York City and when Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the community, New York City worked hard to make sure public access areas and damaged facilities were repaired in time for the summer season,” said Senator Schumer. “This federal funding will help make sure local taxpayers are not entirely on the hook for the repairs made to Rockaway’s beaches after Superstorm Sandy.”
“I am pleased New York City will get this federal funding to help cover the cost of repairing several boardwalk sections at Rockaway Beach damaged by Superstorm Sandy,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This critical FEMA funding will help provide much needed resources on the ground as recovery efforts continue. I will continue to fight for funding so we can rebuild even stronger and be ready for when the next storm hits.”
“Communities across New York City are becoming stronger and more resilient every day,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This federal funding is crucial to strengthening our resiliency measures and ensuring that the Rockaways remain safe and enjoyable for all New Yorkers. I want to thank FEMA and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for supporting our efforts to better prepare the city for 21st century threats like Superstorm Sandy.”
“Four years ago, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Rockaways and other parts of the city, highlighting a growing vulnerability across our coastline to storms and the growing impacts of climate change,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer in the NYC Mayor’s Office. “Today’s announcement marks another step in our recovery as we work to ensure the Rockaways and neighborhoods across the city are ready to withstand and emerge stronger from climate impacts. Thanks to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for helping New Yorkers with the support we need to continue building a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable city.”
“Thanks to a partnership between City, State and Federal agencies, millions of New Yorkers had access to Rockaway Beach merely months after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Today we’ve made tremendous progress toward building a stronger and more resilient beach and boardwalk, and this funding will enable us to continue our efforts to protect the Rockaway peninsula.”
The funding is being provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) hazard mitigation program. FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program provides funding under Section 406 of the Stafford Act, the federal disaster law that supplies aid to states and localities to implement long-term resiliency measures after a major disaster. The purpose of these grants 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. Normally, without these grants, FEMA will only provide enough funds for a locality to rebuild using the same specifications as the original structure.