Let's keep our beach communities vibrant

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I live on the beach, and every morning I enjoy watching the surfers go into the water. On my 75th birthday, I took my first surfing lesson. But I think it’s important for surfers and volleyball players to realize that this project is for the greater benefit of our community.

Every day I hear another horror story about the night of the storm. Now we have an obligation to do all we can to minimize the chances of this happening again. Our first priority must be safety, and the leadership of both the City of Long Beach and the Town of Hempstead have taken the proper steps to ensure that our towns will be safer. Long Beach’s City Council and the Hempstead town board voted unanimously in support of the proposal.

Town Supervisor Kate Murray called the support for the plan “unwavering,” and went on to say, “We believe this will protect the barrier island communities and business districts for the next 50 years.”

Of course, locals should have some say, but our elected officials should be applauded for attempting to negotiate with local interest groups for the safety and preservation of our community. Jim LaCarrubba, Long Beach’s public works commissioner, stated that from the end of the dunes to the waterline, there would be approximately 200 to 225 feet of beach. I believe there should be designated areas set up for volleyball, and I hope the engineers can also design areas where wave conditions won’t be affected and our surfers can continue to enjoy the waves.

This is an important step in the right direction. I’m hopeful that with the support of our local communities, county and state officials, we will see our beach communities thriving once again.

Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column? ADAmato@liherald.com.

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