Hempstead Town officials and Sen. Charles Schumer Monday urged residents to return to barrier island beaches after two years of storm recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Schumer heralded the restoration of the shoreline at Point Lookout, Middle Beach, Lido Anchor Beach and East Atlantic Beach after a $10 million project to remove 680,000 cubic yards of sand from the Jones Inlet and pump it onto beaches.
The project cleared the inlet for boaters, restored beaches and built up protective sand barriers around homes, Murray said in a news release.
"After working with the Army Corps to dredge, replenish the sand and restore dunes at these beaches, it's great to welcome local beachgoers and tourists back this season," Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in the statement.
A $178-million plan for the Army Corps of Engineers to add nearly 5 million cubic yards of sand, dunes, stone jetties and berms along the Long Beach oceanfront is to begin in March to protect the city from another storm like Sandy.
Hempstead's Conservation and Waterways Department moved 50,000 cubic yards of the dredged sand to restore beaches and dunes at Civic Beach, Middle Beach and Town Park at Point Lookout.
The town also added 250,000 beach grass plants on the dunes to prevent sand from blowing and washing away during storms, officials said. Town workers and local community groups will plant more beach grass through the fall.
"Collaborating to restore sand dunes along the coast will make sure homeowners and businesses have a greater degree of protection from tidal storm surges," Murray said.