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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Guest Column
Now, more than ever, we need to be united
By Billy Kupferman
Courtesy Rob Rothman/ Facebook
Not just about surfing: Bayside flooding damaged homes, businesses, schools, the hospital, the recreation center, and the sewage treatment plant.

In his recent guest column, Morris Kramer has re introduced the idea that the all powerful and ill-willed “surfers” are responsible for the damage Long Beach incurred during Sandy. I thought we had disproved this theory and moved on. I guess not.

Mr. Kramer writes, “In 2006, the surfers relentlessly pressured the city council, forcing the members to unanimously vote against an Army Corps of Engineers plan to protect Long Beach.”

Mr. Kramer has the right to believe that the city should have gone ahead with the Army Corps of Engineers plan.  We are all free to make our own decisions.  But please, can we stop making it seem like a bunch of rogue surfers took to the streets threatening to spear the good citizens and leaders of Long Beach with their surfboards if they didn’t join the anti Corps movement?

Here is what happened in 2006: The Army Corps of Engineers presented a plan for the Long Beach barrier island. Many residents felt that this plan was flawed and could be more trouble than it was worth. Why? The plan greatly increased the likelihood of diminishing surf quality while creating dangerous rip currents. There was no guarantee as to the size of sand particles that would be used for beach replenishment. When incompatible sand particles are placed on top of one another, erosion can be amplified. There was no guarantee as to the cleanliness of sand that would be used. It was questionable as to whether or not a dune alone would provide maximum protection. The plan did not incorporate any protection on the bay side. Were the waves an issue? Yes. Were they the only issue? Absolutely not.

Concerned residents began working with an organization called the Surfrider Foundation. I understand that names can be deceiving, but believe it or not, the Surfrider Foundation is made up of more than just surfers concerned with surfing!

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