The beach at Fort Tilden, a popular alternative to the more crowded beaches at nearby Jacob Riis Park, will not open this summer due to damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy. Daphne Yun, a spokesperson for the Gateway National Recreation Area, tells us, "It can't be safely reopened. The erosion was very bad there, and it's going to remain closed this summer." Yun was unable to say when it would reopen, and could not confirm that the beach would even reopen in 2014. "It's being put on the back-burner," she said.
Given the traditionally laid-back nature of Fort Tilden (there are no lifeguards or facilities on the beach), we asked Yun how militantly this restriction would be enforced. She said the beach will be fenced off and patrolled. "The erosion has exposed quite a lot of debris, some of it sharp, Yun explained. "There are pieces of the road that are still in the water, as well as rebar and other sharp debris. We just don't have the resources or the time to safely address that before the start of the summer season."
"So many things were damaged due to Hurricane Sandy," Yun added. "There are thousands of things that need to be repaired and assessed." Among them, Riis park, which will reopen on Memorial Day, with "added amenities," including shuttle service, according to Yun. Three beaches at Sandy Hook (B, Gunnison and North Beach) will also open on Memorial Day, with the park fully reopening during the summer.
"Sandy Hook had extensive damage," Yun says. "Sand was on roads and had to be moved to parking lots. It literally looked like a desert because the sand was so high. They also lost electricity and phone lines. The multi-use path was badly damaged. Riis park had some of the same erosion but they were able to assess that a little better. Bathhouses were flooded, as well as the Park Police building and the First Aid building."
Canarsie Piers also remains closed; officials are still waiting a structural engineer to review it, and Yun said she's not sure when that will reopen. And the beach at Breezy Point will remain closed until the main access road can be repaved.
[h/t Katie Honan]