Beach closures scheduled in the Rockaways this summer, but boardwalk will fully open

April 6, 2023

Photo courtesy of Shinya Suzuki on Flickr

Beach closures at the Rockaways are scheduled once again this summer, but city officials say the shutdown won’t be as disruptive as last year. Starting on Memorial Day weekend, 10 to 15 blocks of the beach will temporarily close on a rolling basis throughout the summer, the city’s Parks Department announced this week. Closures, necessary for continued work on the Atlantic Shorefront Resiliency Project, will shift as necessary, moving west from Beach 116th Street and east from Beach 143rd Street, according to the agency. The Rockway boardwalk and its concessions will remain fully open.

Over the course of the summer, the work zones, open beaches, and beach access will change as necessary as work on the project progresses.

Spearheaded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the $336 million Atlantic Shorefront Resiliency Project kicked off in 2020 and is projected to be completed in 2026. The project aims to bolster Rockaway’s resiliency against erosion and flooding from coastal storms. It involves the creation of 14 new “stone groin” structures—rock structures that help trap sand and lessen beach erosion.

The project includes the creation of a reinforced dune system and sand renourishment on the side of Rockaway Beach facing the Atlantic Ocean. These new support systems will promote sand accumulation, allowing for wider beaches, and providing the shoreline with better protection against storms.

The work is a response to Hurricane Sandy’s devastating impact on the area in 2012. The storm revealed Rockaway’s vulnerability to extreme weather events and the need to strengthen the shoreline.

“The community is a crucial partner of the City as we work to protect the Rockaway peninsula from climate change, future storms and long-term erosion,” Kizzy Charles-Guzman, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, said.

“The temporary beach closures that are necessary this summer will help to protect this frontline community, and bring us a safer and more resilient beach that all New Yorkers can enjoy.”

The announcement marks the fourth year of closures since work on the project began. Last year, six blocks across Rockaway Beach were temporarily closed to sand, swim, and recreational access from May through September.

You can find more information on how the resiliency project is improving the strength of Rockaway Beach here.

NYC beaches open to the public on Saturday, May 27, and will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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