U.S. Taxpayers Paying $7.2M to Put More Sand at Coney Island

September 9, 2013 - 12:30 PM

Coney Island

A June 2013 photo of cranes repairing a Coney Island pier damaged during Hurricane Sandy. (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The Army Corps of Engineers will pay $7.2 million in tax dollars to dump an additional 600,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach at Coney Island in New York, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) announced Friday.

The federally funded sand is ostensibly to replace sand lost from the beach during Hurricane Sandy. However, the 600,00 cubic yards that will be dumped on the beach at taxpayers expense is more than twice what was washed away by the 2012 storm.

“Roughly 272,000 cubic yards of sand . . . were washed away or pushed inland during Sandy,” according to a New York City report on the effects of Hurricane Sandy. “The storm brought direct wave impacts along ocean-facing areas” and led to flooding that “reached a height of 10 feet” in some parts of Coney Island, according to the report.

Citing damage from Hurricane Sandy, Schumer requested the award “as part of the Coney Island Reach project,” which “consists of approximately 3 miles of beachfront” running from West 37th Street to Brighton Beach.

The contract was “awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers” for an  “emergency project . . . critical to Coney Island beachgoers and homeowners.”

“The Corps of Engineers is authorized to place the additional sand” through the “Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013,” also known as the Sandy Relief Bill, which was enacted to “temporarily increase the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for carrying out the National Flood Insurance Program” from $20.7 billion to $30.4 billion.

Hurricane Sandy also flooded the New York subway, knocked out electricity throughout the state, destroyed homes, and led to the evacuation of nearly 400,000 people in New York City.

The Coney Island sand work was scheduled to begin over the weekend.