Governor Cuomo allocates $300k to stabilize East River State Park’s shoreline

The news that Brooklyn’s own East River State Park will receive $300,000 from the state to help stabilize its eroding shoreline along the Williamsburg waterfront thrilled area residents and park lovers like Jackie Meyer, who declared that “things are literally coming up roses for the park” because the Double Knockout Roses planted during It’s My Park Day! are beginning to bloom.

“It’s extremely exciting because they won’t only work on the erosion and we’re also going to end up with a nice sandy beach,” said Meyer, who is a community advocate with the Friends of East River State Park. “They’re doing it as we speak: workers just started putting in irrigation and we’re getting several water fountains. So it should be a much lovelier summer in the park.”

The improvements to East River State Park come as part of $90 million of NY Works funding dedicated to the repair and rehabilitation of more than 50 state parks and historic sites around the state.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement on May 17, calling the state budget allocation an “invest[ment] in much needed projects. . . to rehabilitate park infrastructure and address health and safety issues [that] will improve the experience for park visitors, create jobs and support New York’s tourism industry.

The $90 million from Fiscal Year 2013-2014 will go towards 90 construction projects, including “60 architectural and engineering designs to advance shovel-ready capital improvement projects in nearly 50 parks in future years.”

East River State Park is the only Brooklyn park receiving construction funds this year through the New York Works program.

On the issue of erosion, Meyer explained that “there are many problems” contributing to the loss of beach space. “We were already losing shoreline when the construction of the major towers went in with its infrastructure to support them and this seemed to exacerbate the erosion,” she said. “Currently, the beach requires a lot of maintenance from the staff and of course things wash up and land on the beachfront.”

Fortunately, the state and Parks Department seem to have “a desire to keep it natural” when shoring up the shoreline and making improvements, said Meyer. “It’s very unique to have a shoreline where the shoreline meets the rocks and it’s inspiring to see it the way it was naturally and historically.”

East River State Park is also the beneficiary of Councilmember Stephen Levin’s latest round of participatory budgeting voting, with residents voting to allocate $450,000 of Levin’s discretionary funds this year towards building a dog run at the park.

The State Budget capital plan calls for investing $90 million annually in state park improvements over the next five years.

Below are the projects planned for parks in New York City:

New York City

Construction projects:

Riverbank State Park Ice rink improvements $1,000,000
Riverbank State Park Implement park-wide improvements $1,000,000
Roberto Clemente State Park Reconstruct Upper Plaza, including major structural repairs, asbestos remediation and landscaping $2,930,000
Roberto Clemente State Park Redevelop Lower Plaza area $2,200,000
East River State Park Stabilize eroding shoreline $300,000
Regional Total: $7,430,000


Design projects:

Riverbank State and Roberto Clemente State Parks Design solution for failing tile siding on park buildings
Roberto Clemente State Park Design development of new northern recreation field, including fencing and wetland mitigation

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