Staten Island residents can now look to sea life to help protect the shorelines.
An underwater shelf with a living oyster reef off the Tottenville shore is one in a series of projects to be granted improvement funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This aquatic buffer acts as a shield against wave action for the South Shore.
Roughly a quarter mile from the coast, these undersea walls will be a welcome habitat for a living oyster reef. The $60 million project will be funded with federal money.
The replacement of the breakwater and oyster reef will reduce wave strength and height by up to 4 feet. In addition, the shelf may do the job more efficiently than the sand berms constructed on Staten Island beaches, since the shelves reduce the waves’ energy before they hit the shoreline.
RealEstateSINY.com covered a story last year on Hurricane Sandy recovery, released directly before berms were added to Midland Beach. It was clear in 2012 that New York City was not prepared for heavy storms. Though small, it is projected that these measures will improve storm preparedness in the future.