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Rockaway Beach is Disappearing and Resurgent All at Once

After Superstorm Sandy, New York City’s oceanfront neighborhood got a boost of investment. But that hasn’t stopped the waves from stealing the beach.
In May 2019, New York City announced the completion of a sand dredging project along the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk. But how long will it last?
In May 2019, New York City announced the completion of a sand dredging project along the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk. But how long will it last?Mpi43/MediaPunch/IPX

Last year, right before Memorial Day, the business owners of Rockaway Beach got a terrible shock. New York City officials abruptly declared that a popular 12-block section of beachfront would be closed for the summer, and perhaps indefinitely.

The reasoning was harsh: The rapid erosion of sand along the peninsula’s Atlantic-facing shore meant that there wasn’t enough room for people to safely stroll or swim. “This decision was made in the interest of safety, and that will always remain our top priority,” said Parks Department commissioner Mitchell Silver.