Rethinking South Valley Stream
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She added that the big surge during Hurricane Sandy, followed by quickly receding water, only sped up that erosion. The living shoreline, she said, was the best option to both combat flooding and retain the natural beauty of the neighborhood. “It’s not just throw up a wall to block the water,” she said.
This $1.7 million project, which would include the planting of trees and other vegetation, can only be done along public shorelines because of stipulations with New York Rising money. Mangaru said she hopes residents with waterfront property would do similar work. She lives along the creek herself.
Niek Veraart, an environmental planner who has been working with the committee, agreed that a living shoreline is a good way to go. “You have to work with the land and work with the water,” he said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is offering another $50 million in New York Rising money, which is expected to be awarded in January. Mangaru said they want to be in contention for that. “We want a slice,” she said. “There’s a lot more to be done.”
McAllister said that the money would likely be awarded to communities that have shown substantial progress toward getting projects started. He said the state is requiring that each project take 24 months from start to finish, or funding could be in jeopardy. Also, he said, local committees must start spending their allocations by 2017, and must use it up by 2019.
To help get these projects under way, a grant manager will be hired to help local CRP committees file applications and other required paperwork for their projects. McAllister said either the Town of Hempstead or Nassau County would be responsible for soliciting bids from contractors and overseeing the work.
Other projects on tap for South Valley Stream would include repairing the bulkheads and Brook Road Park, at a cost of $2 million, and informing local residents on how to manage storm water on their own properties, such as by creating a rain garden. At the park, Veraart said the plan is to create a natural berm that would slow down the rush of water from a storm surge while also creating access to the stream for locals.
All projects need to be approved by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.