Uptown Beaches to Face Summer Closures
It’s official. Uptown will face beach closures this summer due to the Army Corps work.
On Tuesday, April 4, NYC Parks and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced the expected beach and swimming access updates for Rockaway Beach this summer as part of the $336 million Atlantic Shorefront Resiliency Project to protect and strengthen the Rockaway community.
According to a press release from NYC Parks, in line with USACE’s confirmed construction schedule, starting Memorial Day weekend, as many as 70 blocks of Rockaway Beach will be open to swimming seven days a week. Due to construction, 10-15 blocks of beach will be temporarily closed to all access throughout the summer, moving westward from Beach 116, and moving eastward from Beach 143. The closures will be rolling; over the course of the summer the work zones, open beaches, and beach access will shift as the necessary work progresses. The entirety of the Rockaway boardwalk will remain open.
“The temporary beach closures that are necessary this summer will help to protect this frontline community and bring us a safer and more resilient beach that all New Yorkers can enjoy,” Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Kizzy Charles-Guzman, said.
“Rockaway Beach is a vibrant, much-loved summertime destination for residents and tourists alike, and we’re proud that this summer much of the beach will be open while this necessary resiliency work continues,” NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said. “I thank our partners at the Army Corps of Engineers for their expediency and ongoing diligence throughout this far-reaching coastal protection project, and I am looking forward to a wonderful Rockaway beach season this year.”
“There is no question, the Rockaways have been severely impacted by coastal storms and intense erosion over the years and the improvements we’re making as part of our ongoing Coastal Storm Risk Reduction Project will go a long way toward reducing risk to these communities from future storms,” Colonel Matthew Luzzatto, Commander of USACE, New York District, said. “I continue to be impressed and thankful for the tremendous work done by my team and our partners, especially NYC Parks, as we continue to work diligently at reducing coastal storm risk for the residents of the Rockaways.”
Launched in 2020 and scheduled through 2026, USACE’s work is responsive to decades of calls to address severe erosion and flooding from coastal storms, which has been exacerbated by climate-change, at one of New York City’s most popular beaches. The project consists of 14 new stone groin structures, the rehabilitation of five existing groins, the construction of a reinforced dune system, and sand renourishment on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Rockaway Peninsula. Stone groins are rock structures that extend out into the ocean that will trap sand and reduce beach erosion. They will support sand accumulation, allowing for wider beaches, less erosion, and better protection from storms when complete.
NYC Parks beaches open for the 2023 season on Saturday, May 27, and will remain open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beachgoers are directed not to swim in red-flagged areas. Beachgoers looking for updated project information and ongoing service changes can visit the NYC Parks dedicated webpage (www.nycgovparks.org/facility/beaches/beach-recovery/rockaway-beach-closures) which will be updated ahead of the Memorial Day opening.