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Rockaway Beach Community Torn Over Beach Rebuilding Project

ROCKAWAY BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Huge mounds of sand are at the center of a debate on Rockaway Beach. The mounds have been offering protection to a building there for the past six months, but a new plan to use the sand to shore up an eroded section of beach 30 blocks to the south has residents in an uproar.

"I don't like it because the buildings are not going to be protected," Stan Nathanson told CBS 2's Sean Hennessey on Monday night.

The beach was decimated when Hurricane Irene came through last year and some say that the sand does need to be used to replace what was lost.

"I think they should actually use the sand for the beaches because we've lost a lot of the beaches," Gary Rizzi said.

But residents also said that the amount of sand being added to the beach isn't nearly enough.

"This is a Band-Aid; this is like lipstick on a corpse," Eric Metcalf said.

The city Parks Department told CBS 2 that it is pursuing funding to bring in more sand, but residents said that similar efforts in the past have failed.

"All the replenishing they've done; '96, '97, '98 and all these streets on several occasions, have all disappeared," Jim Carman said.

Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder said the real solution to protecting beach front property is long-term rock jetties.

"Every community is in danger and the threat of a storm wiping away their homes and wiping away their livelihoods is something that we live in a constant threat of," Goldfeder said.

Rock jetties could cost the city millions and there does not appear to be any funding for that type of project on the horizon. Residents said they are hoping that the city will work with the Army Corp of Engineers to dredge a nearby inlet in an effort to produce more sand.

What do you think is the best method to preserve the beaches? Let us know in our comments section below...

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