"Greater Rockaway" Coastal Resilience Plan

Focused on the restoration of the dunes along the Atlantic shoreline of the Rockaway peninsula to prioritize local voices, biodiversity, and long-term stewardship

introductory photo

Anyone, age 18+, who is interested in helping with the project, can sign up now for a volunteer shift.


"Greater Rockaway" Coastal Resilience Plan was initiated in 2020 by RISE, with support from New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, US Army Corps of Engineers, as well as technical support from WXY Architecture & Urban Planning, and eDesign Dynamics.

This project has laid the groundwork for a long-term coastal dune enhancement and maintenance program, while leveraging investment in the dunes and beach as a way to support existing community development goals. Key areas include environmental education, equity, flood protection, and workforce development. The geographic focus area includes the dunes between Beach 17th Street to Beach 76th Street, on the north side of Rockaway boardwalk.

The plan has engaged a wide cross section of stakeholders and partners—from civic associations and businesses to youth and NYCHA residents—through a diverse community engagement process in 2020 that included interviews, focus groups, community design workshops, and surveys. The project has developed a scalable and replicable engagement process that can be used for New York City-wide coastal shoreline visioning by city and state partners. The final report can be viewed and downloaded below.

"Greater Rockaway" Coastal Resilience Plan is funded through National Fish & Wildlife Foundation's National Coastal Resilience Fund. In 2021, the project was designated as one of forty-nine National Projects and is currently the ONLY project in New York State!

The project is currently in Phase III Implementation Stage. Starting in spring 2023, RISE established a pilot planting area off the boardwalk at Beach 62nd Street and have hired a team of local residents and high school interns in RISE Shore Corps to assist with regular maintenance and plantings.

RISE also has engaged more than two thousand schoolchildren, from ten local Rockaway public school partners, to propagate seeds, monitor plant conditions, and learn about native plant species as they assist with maintenance of the dune preserve and the new RISE native plant nursery, currently under construction, at Arverne East at Beach 44th Street.

RISE will be hosting a series of plantings and community events for the general public to take part in the project. Check out our Events calendar. You may review our presentations, reports, and plans below.