The Erosion of Summer at Rockaway Beach?


Yesterday, I got the news about the beach erosion in the Rockaways from a friend on social media. Not at all versed in the affects of beach erosion I thought the issue would be a quick fix. My thinking was that although significant portions of the beach would be closed entirely from the shore line to the boardwalk, that it couldn’t possibly be closed more than a couple weeks. I thought wrong.

What is beach erosion? As per Wikipedia, beach or coastal erosion is the wearing away of material from a coastal profile including the removal of beach, sand dunes, or sediment by wave action, tidal currents, wave currents, drainage or high winds.

As reported by the New York Daily News, New York City Parks Department will shut down an 11 block stretch of the most popular part of Rockaway Beach.

According to the Parks Department, the beach will be closed between Beach 91st and 102nd Streets. They clarified, stating “A combination of erosion, plus a dune that was installed to protect against storms, have shrunk the beach, making it too small to safely welcome sun seekers.”

And even with Wikipedia’s definition of what beach erosion is, and the Parks Department explanation of the problem, I don’t think I still fully know what’s going on and why it can’t be fixed before the summer’s end.

One thing is for sure though, as reported by CBS New York, The Army Corps of Engineers won’t even start working on the issue until next year.

So while each year, my family and I, (the three kids pictured above included) love going to the Rockaways every summer, I already cringe at how overcrowded Rockaway Beach gets every year. This year I could only expect for the mass of folks that go to Rockaway to double in size with this new projected beach closure.

While the proximity of the Rockaways to our home has kept us faithful summer Rockaway Beach goers, the summer of 2018 may just be the year we stop going.


Words and photo by Adolfo Steve Vazquez