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Stuck in the sand! • Brooklyn Paper

Stuck in the sand!

Don’t fugheddabout the bay!

Southern Brooklynites are frustrated that a team of scientists would rather move sand from miles away instead of just a few hundred feet to restore order to Plumb Beach and save the Belt Parkway.

Locals say that a plan by the Army Corps of Engineers that would keep the parkway from falling into the ocean by fortifying Plumb Beach with fresh sand should include dredging the mouth of nearby Sheepshead Bay instead of the far-off Ambrose and Rockaway Inlet channels, because doing so would help solve another problem — the shrinking depth of the water at the entrance to the bay.

“Our boats are getting stuck in the sand!” exclaimed Richard Arneman of the Bay Improvement Group. “Our requests [for dredging the bay] have gone ignored.”

Local boat enthusiasts say they have been complaining that erosion has caused sand to pile up in the channel at the eastern edge of the bay off the coast of Seawall Avenue in Manhattan Beach since the 1980s. That sand makes it difficult for boats to exit the harbor without getting stuck.

They think that extra sand would be the best — and easiest — bet for the fix.

“We’ve got plenty of sand for Plumb Beach right here,” said Anthony DiLerni, director of maritime technology at Kingsborough Community College, whose vessels pass through the troubled area regularly.

“We may not be able to keep boats at our marina this year because the water is full of sand.”

But the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency charged with dredging Southern Brooklyn waters to restore the dilapidated beach, says the inlet to Sheepshead Bay is just fine.

“Right now, there is enough space for vessels to pass from Sheepshead Bay into the ocean,” said Joe Olna, a project manager for the Corps.

“If people feel there is a need to dredge the bay, they need to document it and show us.”

But Community Board 15 Chairwoman Theresa Scavo says the problems have been documented.

“I don’t know what they’re talking about,” she said. “We’ve been making this request for years.”

The Army Corps say that its plan to tack 40 feet of beachfront on to Plumb Beach will prevent the pounding surf from destroying the heavily traveled Belt Parkway while clearing up the Ambrose and Rockaway Inlet channels for boaters.

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