DUNES, WALLS & POLITICS (and the politics of dunes and walls)

At tonight’s City Council meeting there will be a vote on whether to revisit the 2006 Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) plan of dunes, a higher beach & larger jetties. The 2006 City Council shot down that plan and came up with an alternative, which from what I understand, was basically just a wall. So what happened? Well, in great Long Beach tradition (see: 2005 Master Plan), our government spent money on a study and never followed through with it. Nothing got done. (surprised?)

Why did they not like the 2006 ACE plan? Surfers were worried about swells, residents were worried about ocean views and bayside flooding wasn’t addressed. I cannot speak for swells, but how would ocean views be damaged? I would rather look at a dune with birds, plants and, you know, nature, than to stare at The Great Wall of Long Beach. What happens if water spills over that wall? I hope you have some bath toys (Rubber Ducky, you’re the one, You make bathtime lots of fun). If this wall isn’t higher than the boardwalk, then don’t even bother talking about it. Bayside flooding? It’s inevitable. I’m not sure what other plan there is to prevent bayside flooding, unless it involves raising the land elevation or siphoning all the water out of Reynolds Channel. Would higher bulkheads work? Rubber Ducky, you’re the one, You make bathtime lots of fun.

Head over to the LB Patch and read City to Revisit 2006 Army Corps Project, where you will see how Long Beach small town politics are alive, well and can never be destroyed by Sandy or any other natural disaster. Perhaps we should block future hurricanes with all the political hot air that goes around over here?

DUNES VS. WALLS. Is this the next issue that will divide Long Beach? For those who haven’t made up your minds yet, read this NY TIMES article published today: Resisted for Blocking the View, Dunes Prove They Blunt Storms:

[quote]So, six years ago, after the Army Corps of Engineers proposed to erect dunes and elevate beaches along more than six miles of coast to protect this barrier island, the Long Beach City Council voted 5 to 0 against paying its $7 million initial share and taking part.

Many of Long Beach’s 33,000 residents would come to regret it.

The smaller neighboring communities on the barrier island — Point Lookout, Lido Beach and Atlantic Beach — approved construction of 15-foot-high dunes as storm insurance. Those dunes did their job, sparing them catastrophic damage while Long Beach suffered at least $200 million in property and infrastructure losses, according to preliminary estimates.

Joe Vietri, director of coastal and storm risk management for the corps, toured the damaged coastlines after the 12-to-14-foot storm surge of Hurricane Sandy and came to an inescapable conclusion. “The difference was dramatic for areas with vital and healthy dune systems, which did better than those that did not,” he said in a telephone interview. “You can see the evidence on Point Lookout and Lido Beach, which did much better than Long Beach.”



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