Coney Island and Brighton Beach activists call for dunes, but government groups say they are unnecessary

Sandy survivors say city leaving them low and wet by not protecting beachfront

The Brooklyn Paper
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Experts be damned!

The city needs to build sand dunes off Brooklyn’s beach-lined shorefront to shield residents from the next Hurricane Sandy-like storm — just like it’s to doing for the Rockaways in Queens — claim residents who fear the city’s fix is recipe for disaster.

Residents of Sandy-slammed Coney Island and Brighton Beach say they need a fast, efficient barrier to block rising ocean waters in the event of another storm, and argue that dunes are the perfect fix.

“Dunes have been proven effective, they’re cost-effective, and they can be built relatively quickly,” said coastal watchdog Ida Sanoff, executive director of the Natural Resources Protective Association.

Locals said that the city’s determination to continue development along the shoreline of the Coney Island peninsula — rather than retreating from vulnerable areas, as it’s doing in parts of Staten Island — increases the need for urgent protective measures.

“We need something to prevent the water from just coming in like it did before,” said Coney Island community leader Sheila Smalls. “They want to build all these things near the beach, but they aren’t doing anything to protect them.”

The current city plan focuses on preventing overflow from the Coney Island Creek — by filling in the toxic inlet and turning it into a marsh. But dune-advocates argue that proposal will take too long to approve and complete, and anyway would do nothing to prevent seawater from reaching all the way up Ocean Parkway to Avenue Y, as it did during Sandy.

“It’s going to take years, perhaps decades, for those plans to get funded and go through the review precesses,” said Sanoff.

The longtime Brighton Beach activist pointed out that artificial dunes are typically seeded with vegetation to prevent erosion, and suggested that the real reason Coney and Brighton are not getting the same protection as the Queens peninsula is a worry that seagrass-covered dunes might block views from the amusement area.

“When tourists come to Coney Island and they’re up on the Boardwalk, they want to see the ocean,” Sanoff said. “I’m very happy that tourists want to come to Coney Island, but I think the safety of the people who live here is more important.”

But the city argued that the Rockaways suffer from greater exposure to storms, since that peninsula lies directly on the Atlantic Ocean and experiences much stronger waves.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing along the coast,” said a spokesman for the Mayor’s office.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which is constructing the Queens dunes, pointed out that it has already dumped thousands of tons of new sand on Brooklyn’s beaches in the aftermath of the storm to create a greater buffer, and noted that Coney Island’s beach sits 13 feet above sea level — as high as most dunes.

“It’s like a dune that’s 100 feet wide,” a Corps spokesman said.

But Sanoff countered that the beach’s height failed to stop the storm surge during Sandy — and argued that wind and water will soon erode the fresh sand dumped this year, just as it has in the past.

“It’s just going to blow away,” Sanoff said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jerry from brighton beach says:
What Ms. Sanoff is saying makes sense.

The reaason that the Atlanctic City Boardwalk & Hotels were less damaged by Sandy was because of the dunes & vegetation saved the brunt of the storm surge from being pushed up on the Boardwalk & into the Hotels.

Sometimes less is more.
Nov. 25, 2013, 10:11 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon me, but I'm not sure how I feel about dunes that are manmade. But if it is truly necessary, then perhaps we shall seek the kind of dunes that are indestructible, such as ones that are made out of metal or cement. I'm hoping that you will find it within yourself the pardon the suggestion of just one man. John Wasserman.
Nov. 25, 2013, 12:42 pm
diehipster from Stomping Soyboys says:
"John Wasserman: Predictable Failed Apologetic Comedic Commentor"
Nov. 25, 2013, 1:47 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
"diehipster: Failed Abortion"
Nov. 25, 2013, 1:51 pm
Harry from The Hills says:
Both of you: delusional egotistical wastes.
Nov. 25, 2013, 3:10 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I'm sorry, Harry. I wasn't trying to hurt your feelings on purpose (I assume you were aborted?). Pardon me.
Nov. 25, 2013, 3:16 pm
Mark from Windsor Terrace says:
John Wasserman.... Most dunes these days are man made with only sand. Many of the beaches on the Jersey Shore are protected by man made dunes with sea grass planted in on them. On Long Beach Island the areas that had the least damage were the ones that had the dunes built up 2 years ago.
Nov. 25, 2013, 9:21 pm
Mazeltov from Cr says:
John Wasserman see you at Franklin Park
Nov. 25, 2013, 10:21 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
My gosh. Next, are you going to tell me that Gerry Mathers built the Hoover Dam, and not actual beavers? Pardon me.
Nov. 26, 2013, 11:21 am
Bulldoze Sea Gate says:
I would support building dunes in Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Manhattan Beach. However, as a private gated community, Sea Gate should not get the public funds to do this. They cannot be "part of the neighborhood" only when it suits them.
Nov. 26, 2013, 9:41 pm
William H. Depperman from Brooklyn says:

10 East 16th Street, Apt. 16
New York, N.Y. 10003
December 2, 2014

Even though the case has been decided by the Court why
Mayor Bill DeBlasio Don’t You Simply Agree to Petitioners’ Terms in the matter of
City Hall Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance? But Follow through like
New York, N.Y.10007 Long Beach which Properly Used Tropical Hardwood. It Cost Long
Beach—Only $40 Million Chump Change! NYC Budget is $73.9Billion!

Dear Bill,

You withdrew Bloomberg’s appeal to the Stop and Frisk Decision and gave City Workers a new contract! Very good! So why on Earth do you persist with the plans to DESTROY the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk and replace it with cement and plastic? That was a Bloomberg plan NOT a DeBlasio plan! If you fail to issue an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER then you are not simply destroying a New York City and an American Landmark, you are permanently poisoning your relationship with a significant percentage of the people of New York City who are aware of this issue, which the media—simply an arm of the misnamed, so-called “intelligence community”—has tried to cover up and downplay. And your legacy will be permanently poisoned as well no matter what you do to try to compensate for it. You are making a lot of enemies by persisting to act as a clone of Bloomberg. I have sent you 4 previous letters which have mentioned this and related issues. I have received no response whatever to any letter and more importantly—NO ACTION! The key thing in this matter is WHY DO YOU PERSIST IN THIS BLOOMBERG PLAN? What is the real reason, NOT the proffered pretext? Obviously, the actual reason is to set the stage for commercializing the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk area to an extent that most people would consider repulsive and unimaginable! Long Beach replaced their 2.2-mile boardwalk with the finest tropical hardwood: such as bethabara (Ipe), ekki (aka red iron wood is by far the most durable and needs NO preservatives) and Cumaru hardwood (Brazilian Teak) for a measly $40 million! Their expertise should be enlisted in the restoration of the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk, which is 2.6 to 2.7 miles long. The New York City Budget is $73.9 billion! This is eminently doable! The citizens (subjects) in New York City have no say on any issue in this capitalist dictatorship of millionaires and billionaires. This is End Stage Capitalism!

Last week, the boardwalk was fenced off with a chain link fence starting at the Lifeguard Station at the end of Coney Island Avenue. No one disputes the fact that the boardwalk between Coney Island Avenue and Bay 1 is completely falling apart. But this has been deliberately allowed to happen to make it falsely appear that the Parks Department is riding to the rescue and “had no other recourse but to destroy the boardwalk and replace it with cement and plastic!” I am trained as a medical doctor, am a political analyst a writer and am there every other day to take care of the Brighton Beach Feral Cat Colony. There are broken planks from the boardwalk lying all around which have broken off primarily because of the NYPD vehicular traffic. They should ALL be on foot patrol on the boardwalk at all times. I personally was recently forced to rake up all the smaller branches cut by the Parks Department in June (!), which Parks refused to remove after all sorts of entreaties. The area around the mulberry tree at the end of Coney Island Avenue is where the attached photograph was taken. I still do not know how to remove those branches in the attached photo! I also raked up 7 huge bags of leaves that the Parks Department and the Oceana Condominium complex, which has a contract with NYC to do just that, refused to do and have refused to do for about 4–5 years. If you think that you can cover up this issue and drown it out with the issue of the city’s response to racism and the city’s response to the police murder of Eric Garner, etc. etc. and the racist murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, or divert attention with any other maneuvers you are mistaken! People
Mayor William DeBlasio William H. Depperman
December 2, 2014

consider both issues to be important although in an entirely different way. The masses know that the city must do its job in all areas. The situation demands that you must take immediate action in this matter! The city at this moment is in the early stages of actually destroying the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk. You can stop it with the snap of your fingers! So, Stop it now! And obtain the necessary and proper tropical hardwood and properly replace the Brighton Beach-Coney Island Boardwalk just as Long Beach just did!

Attached is a copy of an email sent to dupes of “Friends of the Boardwalk,” one of 2 fake “opposition” groups—the other is the “Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance”—organized by the political operatives in Bloomberg Regime itself and the misnamed “intelligence community” in a formula manipulation to keep well-meaning dupes within the framework of capitalism, while shepherding through the destruction of the boardwalk with a go-nowhere lawsuit in a knowingly corrupt Court System where the people NEVER WIN ANYTHING and are systematically and progressively demoralized, an important part of the operation, because the judges are all paid off cronies of the capitalists: e.g. developers and landlords, etc. and the Mayor himself is secretly a (well-meaning) stooge of the Rule by Decree Capitalist Dictatorship. Note that Rob Burstein, the Bloomberg intelligence agent who runs the latter group divisively manipulated people into signing a petition where the small print supports use of concrete and a “variety of composite materials…for everywhere else on the boardwalk EXCEPT from Coney Island Avenue to Bay 1 (!?)” Totally disgusting! Prove this analysis wrong!? Unlikely! In the attached email the coordinated phony appeal is made to call LOCAL politicians, but to go nowhere near City Hall and Gracie Mansion, when this is obviously a mayoral matter NOT a local matter! Why are you so loyal to the capitalist dictatorship which is waging a daily media war against you? The truth is that you do not even know how to defend yourself properly and think that by towing the Bloomberg Line the media will back off. That is apparently what is in back of your strategy on many things. It would be a mistake to try false disassociation to cover up the fact that you are apparently working with Bloomberg on many issues. Democrats are used to tighten the capitalist dictatorship in order to try to “legitimize” its constant hardening. Lowering the speed limit, which admittedly saves lives, is combined with putting cameras in the subways and buses and on every street corner, for example. Our slogan has to be: “Let’s Get Rid of Capitalism! An Idea Whose Time Has Come!” Not: “Send a message to Obama (or whomever) Please be nice and throw us some crumbs.” Please issue that STOP WORK ORDER IMMEDIATELY! Thank you very much.


William H. Depperman
(212) 627-1373
Dec. 4, 2014, 8:50 pm
William H. Depperman from Brooklyn says:
The Bloomberg-DeBlasio Agreement to Destroy
The Brighton Beach-Coney Island Boardwalk:

Yes, the Mayor should declare the Boardwalk a Landmark! But by remaining SILENT DeBlasio OPPOSES Landmark Status for the Coney Island-Brighton Boardwalk! The “Landmarking Process” normally takes one year, BUT the media HIDES the fact that the Destruction of the Boardwalk has already begun between Coney Island Ave. & Brighton
Fifteenth Street! What is needed is for DeBlasio to first issue an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER, which he can do easily despite the Court ruling which says “the City” MAY proceed To replace the Boardwalk with Cement and does NOT have to replace it with Hard Wood!

On December 7, 2014 the New York Daily News blipped an “EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE” reporting that City Councilman Mark Treyger had called for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the entire 2.6 mile Boardwalk as “an historic site and landmark, which cannot be converted to concrete.” The article was declared an “exclusive” as a phony pretext for the other media NOT to report on the proposal to landmark the Boardwalk so that far fewer people would EVEN HEAR ABOUT IT! But landmarking the Boardwalk is an issue which would concern all New Yorkers! How do we know for a fact that Councilman Treyger and all the other Brooklyn and New York City politicians were in on this many-layered scheme and cover-up100%, and how do we know that Treyger was really acting in BAD FAITH in order to raise the issue of landmarking the Boardwalk before laying it to rest as if landmarking would not work (?), or it was too late, or there were too many problems? All of which are BIG LIES!

First of all, Treyger did not even lay out the shortest surest path to Landmark the Boardwalk! Namely Treyger did not demand that DeBlasio issue an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER to prevent any further destruction of the Boardwalk and openly call for cancellation of the Bloomberg cement project! Allowing destruction of the Boardwalk, which has already begun to continue is designed to send the false message of fait accompli, meaning already an accomplished fact that since the demolition has already begun therefore no one can stop it supposedly, an obvious BIG LIE! By choosing NOT to call a regular press conference with other politicians on landmarking the Boardwalk Treyger insured that FAR FEWER New Yorkers would ever hear about New York City’s devious scheme to destroy the Boardwalk and replace it with cement and fake wood under multiple false pretexts! By appearing alone with No other City, State or National Politicians Councilman Treyger provided a pretext for diminished media coverage and conveyed the belief that FEW other politicians ARE very concerned about the Boardwalk either! The Truth? Other politicians know they dare not open their yap on THIS Bloomberg scheme where presumably $billions are at stake! But if THEY appear to act unconcerned then no one else should be either! Then the issue must really be inconsequential! What did the Daily News actually report? What’s the truth? This Treyger episode describes a standard formula used by the Capitalist Dictatorship of Millionaires and Billionaires on virtually all issues: Treyger was put out in front of the proposal to landmark the Boardwalk by the Big Capitalists and developers themselves in order to lead it to defeat! Treyger serves the same purpose as the so-called “Friends of the Boardwalk” & “Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance!”

It is a fact that after Hurricane Sandy TWO AND A HALF MILES OF THE FIVE MILE ROCKAWAY BOARDWALK were largely untouched and will remain tropical hardwood. And the Long Beach Boardwalk was completely replaced with tropical hardwood! These facts are hidden by the Daily News which reported: “Park officials contend the substitute material (fake wood) is sturdier and much cheaper. It costs about $90 per square foot, compared to approximately $130 for real wood,” but then reported “Treyger (D-Coney Island) and other ‘lovers of lumber’ counter that they have already spotted cracks in the argument—and the concrete.” The News further reported: “The areas under the wooden portions of the Boardwalk sustained minimal damage after Superstorm Sandy, others said, noting the concrete stretches fared worse.” The article goes on to describe the lengthy landmarking process while knowingly covering up the fact that the Parks Department is in the early stages of demolishing the Boardwalk and just ripped out all the benches and half the railings between Coney Island Ave. and Brighton 15th Street in the pouring rain! The reason that DeBlasio, Bloomberg, Benepe, Silver and Jeffries all want to get rid of the Boardwalk is that the capitalist dictatorship intends to commercialize that 2.6 to 2.7 mile stretch beyond anyone’s most horrific nightmare, similar to the ongoing “River to River” gentrification/commercialization of 125th Street! This is the real reason crooked corrupt paid-off judges all discounted all the studies showing that hardwood was far superior to cement and plastic!

It would be a very large mistake, a mistake which is often made, to think that because DeBlasio has said nothing about the Boardwalk that means that 1.) He either does not know about it, or 2.) He knows about it, but is too taken up with other matters such as reacting to the Eric Garner Demonstrations and relentless media attacks targeting him and his wife Chirlane McCray, or that he does not think that it is important enough to openly state his position on landmarking the Boardwalk. So what is the only explanation which fits the facts? DeBlasio was the Public Advocate under Bloomberg! The Public Advocates is to act as a check on the Mayor’s actions if they are deemed harmful to the public good. If DeBlasio had a disagreement with Bloomberg and Benepe over the scheme to destroy the Boardwalk and replace it with cement and fake wood he would probably have said something then! But he did not! In fact, DeBlasio went along with Bloomberg on virtually everything while Bloomberg was mayor. When he was elected Mayor himself he dropped Bloomberg’s appeal on Stop and Frisk and gave City Workers a contract! Very good! But it is clear now that DeBlasio left all the “Big Ticket Items” alone! DeBlasio also agrees with Bloomberg’s plan to destroy the New York skyline by putting up hundreds of new el-cheapo junk tin can buildings in the center of Manhattan, some of which will use tropical hardwood for a large part of the interiors on the lower floors! Bloomberg, worth $33 billion in March, is the developers’ dream! DeBlasio has said nothing on that either! But it is a fact that the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk is a de facto LANDMARK and historic site! But protection of the Boardwalk by the official Landmarks Preservation Commission can ONLY BE ASSURED if Mayor DeBlasio issues an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER to stop the ongoing demolition of the Boardwalk between Coney Island Avenue and Brighton 15th Street and cancel the cement/plastic scheme entirely! Failure to act immediately means at a minimum that DeBlasio passively supports the Bloomberg-Benepe staged-in scheme, carried out behind a wall of subterfuge!

The New York City Budget is $73.9 billion! The town of Long Beach replaced their entire Boardwalk with tropical hardwood for $40 million! Chump change for New York City! The “cheaper” argument is thus MOOT, VOID and FRAUDULENT! It should be noted that Treyger made his landmarking proposal probably only after reading a letter written by this writer to DeBlasio posted Online in local Brooklyn news websites. Although this writer did not propose that the Landmark Preservation Commission become involved the Boardwalk was described as a landmark and called on DeBlasio to issue an Immediate Stop Work Order, a request which was ignored!

What About the “Save the Rain Forest” Propaganda Campaign?

Where did we first hear about the “save the rain forest” campaign in regard to the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk? Straight from the lips of people like Bloomberg! That should have alerted everyone immediately that the claim was bogus as being used! Note that it is a fact that if all the climate treaties were adhered to 100% by ALL the countries in the entire world that would have no effect whatsoever on the fossil fuels global warming runaway greenhouse effect! Ditto the fluorescent bulb campaign! The only way to reverse the runaway greenhouse effect is by abolishing the use of fossil fuels as an energy source worldwide. And that cannot be done under capitalism! Why not? Because the three pillars of capitalism are: 1.) The war industry (the military industrial complex), 2.) The OIL industry and 3.) the Banks! Is there anything which can supplant fossil fuels as an energy source? Yes there is! Tidal Electric Tidal Lagoon Technology plants have already been built and they are 3 to 4 times more efficient than nuclear power plants. There are also certain waterfalls such as the Kaieture Falls in Guyana with a total drop of 822 feet (5 times the drop of Niagara Falls) and Victoria Falls in Africa, the largest waterfalls in the world. The Kaieture Falls has been estimated to be able to supply the power for all industrial and residential needs for North and South America combined. No power is being taken from the Kaieture Falls and very little is being taken from Victoria Falls. The oil industry has made sure of that. There are at least 5 Tidal Lagoon Technology plants which have been built. One is in England, one is in France, one is in Germany, one is in the Russian Federation and one is in China. But the oil companies have put the kibosh on that. The game is Oil and Profit! Even though DeBlasio would never issue a call to Get Rid of Capitalism, a call which is needed, we are not obligated to play the fool and destroy the Brighton Beach-Coney Island Boardwalk, a New York City and American Landmark. Note that the relentless media attacks on DeBlasio and his wife Chirlane McCray are due to the fact that he is white and she is Black and that she acts as his primary advisor! McCray is also not merely “technically Black” like Obama. The term—of the Black Panther Party means not politically Black! That relationship undermines racial division, one of the main divide and conquer strategies of the capitalist dictatorship in the United States & worldwide! Failure of NYC government to stop demolition of the Boardwalk under overwhelming popular opposition proves once again that capitalism cannot be reformed! We Have to Get Rid of Capitalism!
Peoples’ Committee for Wood Restoration of Riegelmann Boardwalk 10 East 16th St., New York, N.Y. 10003 UNION LABOR DONATED PLEASE REPRINT AND DISTRIBUTE!
Dec. 17, 2014, 9:10 pm

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