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Residents: Plumb Beach needs more than a band-aid

Plumb Beach’s latest thrashing at the hands of Mother Nature has left area resdents demanding a long-term solution to what they see as a rapidly deteriorating situation.

The latest strorm track to batter Plumb Beach last month carried away huge amounts of sand and destroyed a 150-foot sectionof the Shore Parkway Greenway running along the Belt Parkway near the Plumb Beach parking lot.

Emergency stabilization efforts - including the introduction of sandbags and rock boulders - are now underway in an effort to limit the damage.

This week, Rep. Anthony Weiner toured the site and assessed the damage along with local residents and representatives from several governmental agencies.

Those all too familiar with Plumb Beach’s history of storm damage say that this time around the area needs more than a “Band-aid” approach.

“They put sandbags in a few years ago and there’s not even any evidence of them,” Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo said. “This weekend they’re predicting a storm. God forbid if the Belt Parkway is flooded, what will we do?”

The NYC Parks Department says its engineers are working with several other invovled agencies including the Department of Environmental Conservation, National Parks Service, Department of Transportation and Army Corps. of Engineers to “evaluate the long term methods of repairing the affected area.”

Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association President Kathy Flynn called on Weiner to “quarterback” the effort.

“We’ve been many years questioning this situation and it’s always the same thing - [governmental] agencies passing the buck,” she said.

For the last several years, activists like Flynn have also been calling for dredging the mouth of Sheepshead Bay.

They maintain that storm surges like the one that occurred last month not only erode Plumb Beach and threaten the Belt Parkway, they also clog navigation lanes.

“There’s colateral damage,” Flynn said. “The whole north shore is eroding away and the south shore keeps building up.”

Money that could be earmarked for that effort has not been forthcoming.

Weiner has asked all interested parties to “go back to the drawing board” to find a solution to Plumb Beach’s problems.

“Something has got to be done,” Scavo said.

One option being suggested is the installation of some sort of off-shore barrier that could theoretically deflect storm surges.

“Yes, something has to be done,” Flynn cautioned. “In the long-term I’d like to see more of a natural type of barrier rather than a cement or steel bulkhead. This is a natural area and it should be preserved that way.”

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