Governor Cuomo Begins Work with Local Beach Representatives to use State & Federal Disaster Aid with New York Rising Program
Local beach representatives recently began participating in the first stages of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program presented by Governor Cuomo’s office in an effort to begin using Federal Disaster Aid in Community Reconstruction Zones. The program is referred to as a “bottom-up, community driven initiative that will empower localities that were severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy…” said New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in a press release published on July 18, 2013.
The NY region that is eligible for more than 750 million dollars consists of 102 communities in total from the Long Island, NYC, and Upstate New York area. Captree Island, Oak Beach, Oak Isles Beach Association, Oak Island, Gilgo Beach, and West Gilgo Beach will combine to represent one community reconstruction zone.
Over the next eight months, members of each zone, along with State and Federal agencies and planning consultants, will begin to formulate a plan to rebuild and protect community assets. After the eight-month planning period, the project will move into the funding and implementation phases.
James Schappert of Oak Beach will serve as co-chair of the beach community reconstruction zone. Additional Committee members are Dorian Dale, Cindy Dale, and Tom Cassidy of West Gilgo Beach, Mark Nuccio of Oak Island, Arnie Lanzillata of the Oak Isles Beach Association, Jed Meade of Oak Beach, and Paul McDuffy of Gilgo Beach. Cameron Engineering and Jacobs, a planning firm, will be working with our representatives.
Additional information can be found at:
Delaney Cassidy, a 2013 Babylon graduate from West Gilgo Beach, grew up as a steward
of our local Town of Babylon beaches.
Delaney has participated in numerous beach grass plantings and cleanups and has served as ‘student editor’ for the Save the Beaches Newsletter. Delaney is also an environmental intern for the Town of Babylon Department of Environmental Control participating in projects such as counting piping plovers and terns and cultivating clams in the Cedar Bay Marina.
Delaney graduated at the top of her class as Valedictorian from Babylon and plans to study biomedical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She promises to always advocate for and help preserve our beautiful shorelines. She is the proud recipient of Save the Beaches $1,000 College Scholarship Award.
On Saturday, April 20th, chilling offshore winds did not deter volunteers
from the Babylon Jr-Sr High School from helping to clean up the beaches along the
Sore Thumb Cove and the Fire Island Inlet.
This energetic crew hiked from Oak Beach into the Cove to pick up small debris that had been collecting in the sands along the Sandy-damaged dunes. In total, the student volunteers collected a dozen garbage bags filled with small debris such as quarter-sized bottle caps, broken glass, shredded plastic bags, plastic utensils, etc.
Save the Beaches volunteer, Mary Beth Schappert states “It is so important that we begin to realize that every piece of litter counts…the small stuff is a danger to the migratory birds that arrive each spring. The small plastics are also showing up in the stomachs of our local fish.
Some one has to care.
It is so nice to see that our younger local generations see the same issues too. We want them to come back to our beaches after college and be able to appreciate and enjoy just what we had when we were their age.”
Thanks to their dedicated advisors, Jeff Kenney and Beth Quinn, these college-bound seniors got a lesson about our local beach ecology too. They really got to see a part of the beach that most people do not have access to.
They got to see which plants held the dunes together the best, how hurricane Sandy re-shaped the coastline, and observed a variety of birds nesting on small sandy islands amidst the breached secondary dunes along the Sore Thumb and Fire Island Inlet.
Preserve and Protect our Coastal Heritage, Wildlife, and Wetlands.
That is Save the Beaches mission statement.
Since 1983, Save the Beaches has been involved in a variety of activities and projects including beach grass and local flora plantings, the construction of local fauna platforms (osprey nesting platforms, bat houses, swallow nesting boxes), coastal clean-ups, and education programs and lectures.