"Greater Rockaway" Coastal Enhancement 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, aged 18+ who is interested in helping with the project, can sign up now  for a volunteer shift.


The "Greater Rockaway" Community & Coastal Enhancement 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 northside 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.

The "Greater Rockaway" Coastal plan is funded through the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation's National Coastal Resilience Fund. In 2021, the project was designated as one of 49 National Projects and is currently the ONLY project in New York State!

The project is currently in the Phase III implementation stage. We have established a pilot implementation off the Boardwalk at Beach 62nd St, and have hired a team of local residents, and high school interns in the  RISE Shore Corps Program to assist with regular maintenance and plantings. As well as engaging more than 2,000 Rockaway public school children 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 Arverne East native plant nursery, currently under construction.

RISE will be hosting a series of plantings and community events for the general public to take part in the project this fall. Check out our event calendarCheck out our presentations, reports and plans below.