Rockaway East Resiliency Preserve

Rockaway Beach, New York

Rockaway East Resiliency Preserve (RERP) is a dune construction and beach habitat development proposal for a critical site in the east Rockaways, an urban area severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Proposed for the largest undeveloped coastline parcel in New York City, RERP represents a unique opportunity to develop and test urban coastal management techniques, addressing urgent challenges at the intersection environmental and social justice.

A double dune system, as recommended in New York City’s Special Initiative on Rebuilding and Resiliency Report, increases protection along the coastline well above the mandated 100 year storm level, reducing storm vulnerability for adjacent densely populated areas, some of the most economically vulnerable communities in the city.

The complex of vegetated dunes and adjacent wetlands would increase flood storage capacity for the neighborhood and provide key freshwater and food sources for native and migratory birds that rely on the Rockaway coastline along the Atlantic flyway. The dune system is designed to restore naturally resilient coastal habitat within a densely developed environment, adding protection and habitat within the space constraints of an urban coastline. Anchored with hardy native flora, the double dune construction is designed to have a low ecological impact and near immediate efficacy as a natural defense.