Sen. Charles Schumer has pledged $1.8 million in federal funding to help protect South Shore communities along Reynolds Channel in Nassau County.
Schumer said the money was added to the Senate version of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for 2016, allocated for the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study.
Funding will go toward a feasibility study on flood mitigation and protection projects around Long Beach, Island Park, Oceanside, Massapequa, Baldwin, Merrick, Bellmore, Wantagh, Seaford and the Five Towns.DataNY Rising LI projectsStorySandy-damaged homes to get demolishedStory'Sandy not over' as LIers struggle to make lives whole
"Securing adequate funding for the Army Corps to begin the Nassau Back Bay Feasibility study is important in the effort to make Long Island more resilient in the future," Schumer said in a written statement. "This will help make sure the Nassau Back Bay study is started as soon as possible."
The appropriations bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May, but Schumer said the bill and $1 million in funding from President Barack Obama's budget fell short of addressing flood protection projects or conducting a feasibility study.
Schumer, a Democrat, said he pushed the Senate Appropriations Committee in February to increase funding for the study. The funding is needed to follow the $20 million Sandy Relief Bill and Army Corps of Engineers project that identified nine vulnerable coastal communities from Virginia to Maine, which included the South Shore communities, he said.
The additional $800,000 will help expedite the study and allow work to begin on projects as soon as possible, Schumer said.
Nassau County and Long Beach officials lauded the effort to add better storm protections after superstorm Sandy hit Long Island in October 2012 and flooded most coastal communities. The ocean met the bay in Long Beach during the storm.
"Protecting the bay side of our barrier island is equally as important as protecting our oceanfront," said Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo.