Summer is right around the corner, but some New Yorkers may need to find a new place to enjoy the beach this year. It was announced by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation on Monday that a half-mile stretch of shoreline will be closed this summer because there's not enough sand there to keep beachgoers safe. A dozen blocks between Beach 91st and Beach 102nd will be blocked off to citizens with the goal to protect a dune put in place since Hurricane Sandy devastated the area in 2012, according to the New York Post.
“The dune built since Sandy provides strong protection to the inland residents, but also covers part of the area that previously was available for active recreation,” a statement from the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. “That combined with the erosion in this section due to the lack of groins means that there is not enough beach area to safely operate swimming and recreation activities in this area.”
While it seems that the beach is being closed with the best intentions, some local Queens political leaders were not thrilled by the news. Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Far Rockaway) spoke out against the decision. Pheffer Amato declared that was "adamantly opposed to the city’s plan to close part of our beach right before Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of summer.” The Assemblywoman believes that closing the half-mile stretch of beach will "significantly hurt our local communities and residents," as well as "hinder our economy."
A large portion of the beach will be closed, however, 4.5 miles of Rockaways beach will be open for business this summer. Citizens of Rockaway and the greater New York City area can enjoy some fun in the sun between Beach 88th Street and Beach 91st Street, which includes the full boardwalk.
It's definitely a bummer that part of the beach will be closed this summer, but it sounds like this tough decision will make Rockaway Beach safer in the long run.