New York, NY—November 19, 2012 —Across Long Island, New York City and the southern Hudson
Valley, residents and businesses continue to clean up from the devastation caused
by superstorm Sandy. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the thousands of
families whose lives have been forever impacted by Sandy. As details of destruction
and loss related to the storm continue to come to light, we thought it
appropriate to share some initial information on the damage at New York’s state
There was significant flooding at Roberto Clemente, Gantry
Plaza and East River state parks in New York City, as well as tree and flood
damage at parks in the lower Hudson Valley. However, the greatest amount of
damage was sustained on Long Island, with Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Orient
Beach state parks bearing the brunt of the destructive forces.
Early cost estimates of flooding and wind damage at these
and other state parks in the affected regions amount to well over $100 million.
While the parks are slowly reopening, evidence of the destruction remains. Roadways,
buildings and beachfronts have sustained heavy damage.
At Jones Beach, Long Island’s signature beachfront park and
Robert Moses’ masterpiece, the power remains out; large portions of the
historic boardwalk are in ruins; standing water remains and major roadways have
been destroyed. Even as areas of the park begin to reopen to the public, it
will take enormous effort, and emergency dollars, for Jones Beach to be
repaired to the point that it can welcome its annual 7 million visitors during
the upcoming season.
Even before Sandy struck, the Open Space Institute's Alliance for New York State Parks had, in cooperation
with the Office of New York State Parks, begun working on a re-visioning plan
for Jones Beach, one of the region’s most recognizable cultural and
recreational destinations. Over the years, the once majestic park had become tarnished
and worn; marred by failing infrastructure and outdated amenities and utility systems.
In the wake of Sandy, we are refocusing our immediate
efforts to support the agency as it begins the process of rebuilding this
iconic park. Our challenge is to ensure that design and rebuilding efforts
getting underway now are done so in a smart, coordinated and sustainable manner
– while being true to the historic nature of the park.
OSI’s Alliance is coordinating a site visit with numerous
design and architectural experts in order to offer professional support and Stantec,
the consultant we had contracted with pre-Sandy to develop a master vision for
the park, is now an additional resource for the state.
Without a doubt, Sandy has altered the course of the
Alliance's Jones Beach restoration project. Thanks to the commitment of the
Open Space Institute and the support of our many parks friends, we are also in
the fortunate position to respond to the evolving needs at Jones Beach. As we
continue learn more about the storm-related damage and restoration efforts at New
York’s wonderful state parks, we will continue to keep you apprised.