Shawn Nuzzo, president of Ecological Engineering of Long Island, said he thought Theodore had the best proposal. “Softscapes” — plant structures like trees, gardens and shrubbery — “are the best at absorbing storm energy, better than bulkheads,” Nuzzo said. “It’s the best long-term solution because they require less maintenance. Sluices also help return land back to its natural state.”
The Interboro plan must be evaluated by community members, said Jim Ruocco, a Freeport resident and a committee member of Operation SPLASH, a nonprofit devoted to keeping Long Island shorelines safe and clean. “Interboro’s success is important,” Ruocco added. “They should be treated more like our partners, and we want them to spend their money here. Interboro is very proactive. We as the community should be showing Interboro things that work. We don’t need more heroes right now, we need ideas.”
The winners of the competition will be announced by HUD in mid-April. There will be one more planning meeting, tentatively scheduled for March 27 in Manhattan, where the public will be invited to contribute ideas for the last time.
For more information about the meeting, go to http://www.rebuildbydesign.org/events/presentation-to-the-public/ and subscribe to the program’s mailing list.