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520,000 cubic yards of sand for Robert Moses park beach

Contractors work to rebuild a section of the

Contractors work to rebuild a section of the Robert Moses State Park, Field 5 boardwalk after it was destroyed by superstorm Sandy. (March 20, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Crews on land and water have been working since early March to collect sand and replenish beach areas at Robert Moses State Park before Memorial Day.

The project, estimated to cost $7.7 million, is dredging sand out of the state boat channel at Captree State Park and removing sand from the west side of Field 2 at Robert Moses. About 520,000 cubic yards of sand will be added to the park beach, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office said Monday.

The sand will be used to restore the beach at Fields 4 and 5 and rebuild dunes that lost 8 feet of sand when superstorm Sandy came ashore. The dredging will clear out the boating channel at Captree, which can be dangerous at low tide.

"Barrier islands and beaches like those at Robert Moses State Park provide a natural defense for violent storms like Sandy," said state Assemb. Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth), who chairs the tourism, parks, arts and sports development committee.

The project's contract was issued to Village Dock of Port Jefferson, which did not respond to requests for comment. Cuomo's office said in a statement that the state expects to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Authority.

Katherine Heinlein, president of Captree Fleet, the largest fishing fleet in the state, said it had paid to dredge portions of the channel a few years ago. She praised Cuomo's decision to dredge the channel for the beach restoration project.

"He's helping the mariners and he's helping the beachgoers," Heinlein said.

Both Robert Moses and Captree state parks are popular tourist sites. Last year, more than 3.2 million people visited Robert Moses and more than 1.1 million people visited Captree.

Cuomo's office said it may also seek more sand from dredging Fire Island Inlet.

A state Department of Transportation project already is using sand dredged from the inlet to help rebuild a portion of Ocean Parkway and dunes east of Jones Beach.


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