Tax dollars to restore Seagate’s private beaches

The Brooklyn Paper
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They can have their beach and gate it, too!

The Army Corps of Engineers will spend $30 million to restore the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged, private beaches of Seagate, a gated community on the western tip of Coney Island, and residents living on the other side of Brooklyn’s Berlin Wall say the influx of taxpayer money means they should be allowed to cross the border and take a dip.

“If you’re using public funds, you need to grant public access,” said Brighton Beach activist Ida Sanoff.

But Seagate representative Tami Maldonado argued that her neighborhood is entitled to the government groins, since neighborhood’s beaches have melted away thanks to a 1992 project that created stony wharves to fight erosion in Coney and Brighton Beach — a project Seagate opted out of because it would have forced the community to open its shore to the city’s masses.

“That project took away our beach and it was not supposed to,” said Maldonado.

And elected officials who helped allocate the cash for the project say the work on Seagate is necessary to keep up the integrity of the connected beachfronts.

“The beaches are all one holistic piece, and when you reinforce in Seagate, you are reinforcing the whole Coney Island peninsula,” said Ilan Kayatsky, a spokesman for Congressman Jerrold Nadler.

The money will let the Army Corps of Engineers construct four rock jetties at the tip of the peninsula — similar to the ones that jut out every few hundred feet from the Coney Island and Brighton Beach waterfronts — to capture sand in the sea currents and add acres to the receding Seagate coast.

The Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that the project would strengthen the integrity of the entire landmass — but claimed it was not required to restore Seagate’s sand.

“The work is primarily benefitting the original Coney Island project,” said Corps spokesman Christopher Gardner.

Kayatsky said construction of the retaining jetties would begin later this year, and be complete inside of two years.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:11 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

benti/brooklyn from brooklyn heights says:
more political corruption...where is occupy Seagate??? We all have a right of access to that property if Tax dollar's are used!
June 6, 2013, 9:01 am
ty from pps says:
How is there a gated community in New York City?? (and i know Seagate isn't the only one)

This is totally absurd. A little slice of Staten Island-style living with a wall around it. So odd.

Do they pay for their own road maintenance? Provide their own sewage treatment and garbage pick-up? If they want to be a sovereign little city-state, they should act like it.
June 6, 2013, 10:42 am
Public Money for Private Usage? from tax payers money says:

Does Assemblyman Alexander Brook-Krasny still live in Sea Gate?
June 6, 2013, 10:58 am
Tissi from 11249 says:
Only cops and firemen live there. Deduce.
June 6, 2013, 2:14 pm
JAY from NYC says:
30 million to fix a stupid beech that almost no one ins the city can use, meanwhile teh R train which millions use it KO'd. This is EXACTLY why China and India are gaining.
June 6, 2013, 6:33 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
A fair compromise would be to restore the beaches and return them to full public use. Unless there is a reason other than use of the beaches for recreation, the restoration should not be funded by public money.
June 7, 2013, 1 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I don't see why those people there can't just come up with the money themselves. If the beach there is for their usage only, then it should NOT use any taxpayer dollars. They are probably rich enough to afford their own clean up crew for this. Corporate welfare should end now!
June 7, 2013, 2:43 pm
Chris Gardner from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District says:
Hi all, I wanted to provide additional information regarding the Sea Gate work and the reasons why the Corps of Engineers is carrying out the work there. You can find more information at the following link on the official page of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District:

Please feel free to e-mail any further questions you may have to

Thanks and have a great day!

Chris Gardner
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
June 10, 2013, 12:11 pm
Barbara W. from Sea Gate Brooklyn says:
Sea Gate Brooklyn is like a condo building. If a condo exists along with a lot of other buildings on a coast line, it should have its coastline restored, just like anyone else. Sea Gate residents pay City property taxes. On top of that Sea Gate pays the city to lease its section of land.
So I don't know why everyone has such a problem.
Sea Gate is by no means a wealthy community. It is made up of hard working people.
Everyone's negativity should be directed at law breakers and terror threats. Not suffering people who had to pay out of their pockets to repair the damage from Sandy. Most went deep into debt doing so.
June 11, 2013, 12:13 pm
jdridgeartist from brooklyn says:
The community of Sea Gate has asked the City . State, and Fed. Gov. for little since it became private back in the 1800's. Residents are middle to lower-middle class. Hard working people who pay water & sewer tax as well as City & State tax. They are not asking for assistance to rebuild their homes after Hurricane Sandy. Many older residents have taken out loans to repair their homes and are having a hard time. The community is located on NY Harbor. The Army Corp of Engineers must put into place marine protection. The beach is one with Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and it is located across the Harbor from the Island of Manhattan. One can see Long Island and Staten Island from across the Harbor. All are one with the sea. The Army Corp can't leave out one piece of the puzzle. If this is done, which one of the above mentioned places will wash away. In addition, they pay above City & State taxes for private police and other services that puts no pressure on the City and or State. They pay for services they don't get. Those who live in rentals, Coops, and Town houses pay for the same security. One can't just walk around my Condo in Bay Ridge. I pay less taxes and have all city services. The Army Corp of Engineers must treat the shore line, The entire shore line as one for the safety of all of us. Unlike a Coop or Condo and for more than 100 years anyone can rent or buy in Sea Gate. If I were younger I would. No test needs to be taken and no discrimination by the community. I have many gay friends/couples who live there and I and my friends from NYC share a cabana there. The beach is small and there are no stores. It is close to my home and a quick ride on the train from 14th Street and Union Square. Here and there are many stores and restaurants. I feel bad for those hard working people ( my friends) who have to deal with these ignorant comments while many have lost their homes. The ocean/Harbor does not discriminate either. If this should happen again and this part of the harbor/ocean is left out we must all worry. NYC is an island that could wash away. One can't create a puzzle of New York and leave out a piece. It destroys the entire picture.
June 24, 2013, 7:24 am
Queenie from queens says:
Have friends in Sea Gate Brooklyn. My first boy friend lived there. It has been at the same location for over 100 years. On a tiny beach. They pay for their own Lifeguards for their tiny beach. They pay to maintain their own beach, they pay for their own police and maintain their streets and sewers. Still they pay the same (if not more) than my husband and I for State, city, sewer and water taxes. I feel bad for them. They are not wealthy and many took out SBA loans to repair their homes. No tax dollars are going to the homeowners or the little beach. Just protection from storms from the Army Corp of Engineers. Water is water and the protection is needed for all boroughs and communities in New York. Like the comment above , all ocean and waters have to be protected....not their beach! "Can't leave out a piece of the puzzle" all ( or some) could be washed away. It might be you. Let those hard working people rebuild on their own, continue to pay for their own services, and get the coastal ( not beach) protection for all.
June 27, 2013, 1:31 pm
C Sahar from Astoria says:
I am sorry but I have seen the buildings from the fence which Seagate erects 40 feet INTO the sea so no bathers get swept into Seaside. THis is what I find awful, the fact that the community is so insular while projects loom over its entrance and those people also suffered for months and had to wait on NYCHA for repairs.

I understand Seaside does pay for many services but so do co-ops such as Queensview in Ravenswood, Forest Hills Park South in Kew Gardens - but you are allowed access to their manicured grounds as long as you obey the condos rules and defer to residents. There are no GATES to kick me out.

I also realize the work helps all of Coney Island and in a sense is mandatory for NYC's health. Nevertheless, I ask the residents of Seaside - what have you done for your neighbors who are far poorer than your community??? How come Seaside NEVER opens up its community to its neighbors just once a year?

If the Coast Guard really wants to protect Coney Island, raze Seagate and replace with dunes, wetlands, and other natural barriers. Seagate along with Breezy Point really should not have been built there.
July 26, 2013, 1:18 pm
cghouse from B hurst says:
The projects you refer to are paid for in part by those who work, tax dollars. The city takes care of all that is needed. The Coast Guard protects those at sea only. The communities you state should not have been build, have been built. There are and were families living there for hundreds of years. NY City is an island. Perhaps all should move to Astoria? Or to the projects? Then who would the city get money from to house and maintain all living in those city run housing projects. You certainly missed the mark!
July 29, 2013, 10:50 pm
c sahar from astoria says:
Ah, you have missed the point. The people of Seagat and Breexy Point will eventually be forced to move. What the Coast Guard is doing is the best option for the whole city. As for ALL, please after Sandy hit more thn the population of Seagate and Breezy Point were displaced. Some moved permnently into other areas of the city - one example is a cylcle fitness studio moved to higher ground in Forest Hills from Rockaways. Some have returned. But to have the fallacious view that in the long-term we are stronger than future storms is absurd.

And fine let them come to Astoria - just be sure they check flood maps as some areas are just at risk for damage as Breezy Point and Seagate.

Finally, there is a bit of obnoxious elitism with Seagate when you have a chain-linked fence going several yards into the ocean so none of the hoi polloi drift accidentally onto Seagate's beach. Maybe we should take you cue and the residents gate off Gantry Park, Astoria Park, an Scorates Sculpture to only those residents of LIC and Astoria? Or why not fence off entirely Battery Park only to those residents? I wonder what your reaction would be?
Aug. 2, 2013, 2:25 pm
nyteacher from flatbush says:
All should learn to spell before posting an opinion.
Sept. 7, 2013, 7:34 pm
Jeremy Coplan from Sea Gate says:
Dear Will and Readers of the Brooklyn Paper

I desperately need your help in saving and cleaning up a beautiful erstwhile pristine beach on the North Shore of Sea Gate, Coney Island. The beach is in limbo and apparently the area was referred to as "Lindy Park" named after someone in the influential Lindbergh Family. I will refer to it as Lindy Park Beach. The beach is extensively used by the public even though it is theoretically part of Sea Gate. The beach shore is filthy and dangerous-- used needles,broken glass and a general array of garbage remains perpetually uncleaned. Sea Gate denies responsibility claiming that the beaches are privately owned and fails to guard the area leaving it completely open to the public. The old fence is now covered by a beautiful dune and provides zero obstruction for public access. I, one of a few, own my beach up to 400 feet (riparian rights). Sea Gate's Associate Chairman Mr Winn says I should clean up the litter. Which I have in the past. The beach in fact developed through the Army Corp of Engineers expertly losing sand on the Southern Beach which evidently built up the Northern beach to a distance of over 400 feet. The beach belongs to us through invoking Accretion Rights to the sand on beach property owned by by Riparian Rights. Although all but seven or eight homeowners have defaulted on paying the city its taxes, the properties were apparently never foreclosed.

The littered beach, which otherwise may be spectacular, is beyond my property line and is I, believe Federal Land, under the Jamaica Park's Jurisdiction. But who knows. Despite the egregious and dangerous littering, the public enjoy the beach in large numbers in the Summer. Come have a look on the weekend when the weather is good. There are beautiful dunes that need to be protected. We too were flooded by Sandy. There are all manner of birds that use the beach. Yet this jewel of a beach is not formally recognized. I had to yell at the Sea Gate Association to stop the Army Corp of Engineers to stop dredging my sand. They dredged elsewhere and are intent on illegally dredging the sand The Sea Gate Association claims it is their sand because it came from their beach. But we were able to stop wholesale removal of the beach by invoking this obscure law that ensures "Accretion Rights" It is almost ludicrous that in excess of 30 million is being spent on the South Beach whereas, for the North Beach, they are stealing our sand.

We urgently need to save the beach before the Army Corp of engineers steal the sand. And the funds are spent. We need to provide a safe and spotless and beautiful beach for the public. We need to preserve the dunes And the habitat of a host of birds. Sea Gate has ignored the beach entirely. I am ready to fund legal action because it is destroying the value of my property.

Please advise me how hopefully we should proceed.

Let us save this beautiful beach for Coney Island.

Jeremy Coplan

Lindy Park Beach (provisional)

Slent from my iPad

Jeremy Coplan, MD
Professor of Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
State University of New York
Downstate Medical Center
July 4, 2016, 2:39 pm

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