QUEENS, NY – Today, U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) and community leaders announced that the Biden Administration provided $500,000 for a feasibility study for ecosystem restoration and hurricane and storm damage risk reduction for Spring Creek South and Howard Beach in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. This project represents the first phase of a resiliency project to protect shoreline neighborhoods in Queens.
In 2020, Rep. Jeffries secured a directive in the Water Resources Development Act to expedite the completion of this feasibility study, and in May of this year he sent a letterto the Biden Administration requesting its inclusion in the FY22 budget. The study would build on work that has already been completed to provide timely and well-considered recommendations for providing ecological benefits and reducing the risk of storm damage.
“The Howard Beach community consistently faces flooding during both minor and major storms. Compounding the risk of flooding, the area is highly degraded with invasive plant species that pose a fire risk. Like all of New York, Howard Beach is resilient, but we owe it to them to do better and to address the issues at the core of the matter,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. “So I am very pleased that after working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Biden Administration has provided $500,000 for this resiliency project. With its funding, we take the first step in ensuring that the shoreline neighborhoods in Queens have the resources needed to investigate ecological and coastal storm risk management measures.”
“Nearly a decade later, Queens is still reeling from Superstorm Sandy’s aftermath, and we still need as much support as possible. Congressman Jeffries’ funding will bring much-needed relief to Spring Creek South and Howard Beach, and I thank the Congressman for allocating these funds to our communities. Together, we can work to ensure our borough recovers,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr.
“The impacts of Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the need to secure funding for the Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction Feasibility Study for Spring Creek South and Howard Beach,” said Col. Matthew Luzzatto, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District. “The completion of this feasibility study will provide further analysis on providing necessary risk reduction measures that will help protect the community while restoring its ecological habitat.”
“The $500,000 in funding the Biden Administration included in the FY 2022 budget for the Feasibility Study for Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction Project is greatly appreciated and needed locally,” said State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. “The need for this feasibility study cannot be understated. Our waterfront communities deserve to know that they are protected from major storms. Many of us, including my staff and I, witnessed how woefully unprepared we were for Superstorm Sandy, and we saw the damage it caused to communities like Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, and those in the Rockaways. The severe damage ranged extensively from damage to personal property and local businesses to fatalities. It is a matter of when, not if, we are hit by the next big storm. This feasibility study will go a long way in guiding future policy and funding to help reduce the risk of storm damage for these communities. I would like to thank Congressman Jeffries and all those involved in securing the funding for this vital study that will have long-lasting positive effects on the health and safety of these communities.”
“The funding secured towards expediting the feasibility study for ecosystem restoration and hurricane and storm damage risk reduction for Spring Creek South and Howard Beach in the Biden administration’s budget is incredible and much welcomed news,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato. “Every Hurricane season increases the odds of a disaster – we need these resiliency measures as soon as possible, and this is the first step to on the path to resiliency. I want to thank Congressman Jeffries for his leadership, and for fiercely advocating for our community.”
“Community Board 10 thanks Congressman Jeffries, for his work to secure this much-needed funding from the Biden Administration for the Feasibility Study for Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction Project in Spring Creek South and in Howard Beach that he requested. The Howard Beach community comprises a third of Community Board 10’s land area and was hard hit by Sandy 9 years ago. Virtually every home in a 2+ square mile area of Community District 10 was inundated by tidal flood waters and every family in this low-lying New York City coastal community of mostly 1 and 2 family homes was negatively impacted,” said Betty Braton of Queens Community Board 10.“The funding Congressman Jeffries secured for this study will be another step forward toward accomplishing an infrastructure system of critically needed resiliency projects that protect both our Howard Beach homes and provides for a sustainable ecosystem along the coastline here.”
“I want to thank Congressman Jeffries and all of our elected officials for supporting this community’s goal of coastal flood protection. The Spring Creek South project will protect the most south western portion of Howard Beach however the rest of our community still remains vulnerable,” said Roger Gendron, President, New Hamilton Beach Civic Association. “The new feasibility study is unique in the sense that it would be based on all of the information gathered by the multitude of previous studies that have been conducted with the hope that it would take substantially less time to see the results. If we go back to the studies from 1960’s then, for our community, the only real solution towards storm damage risk reduction is the installation of tide gates, storm barriers and interior drainage in and around Hawtree and Shellbank Basins. Once the these things are in place, the homes that we live in…..the businesses we shop in…and the houses we worship in will not be flooded again!”
Howard Beach, New York City and the entire Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States, was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. This historic storm killed more than 280 people and caused more than $70 billion in damage, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in American history. The Howard Beach community continues to face flooding during both major and minor storms.