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Army Corps of Engineers to close Plumb Beach for anti-erosion work

Army to close park all summer for erosion prevention project

Brooklyn Daily
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The US Army is invading Plumb Beach this summer — to make the world safe for the Belt Parkway.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced their plan to begin Phase II of its storm-risk-reduction work at Plumb Beach in July, to protect the nearby Belt Parkway from being undermined by erosion. The work will require the Corps to close the park’s beach and parking lot, sometime in April as well as create a detour for the bike path.

Phase II of the Corps’s project involves constructing two stone groins — rock walls similar to jetties, but used to prevent erosion rather than aid navigation — stretching out into the water from either end of the beach. Additionally, a stone breakwater will be built further off the coast parallel to the beach, and vegetation will be planted on the surrounding dunes to anchor the sand. Rounding out Phase II will be a sand fence along the landward side of the beach to prevent sand from blowing across the Belt.

The Army Corps’s contractors, Village Dock Inc., will hold off until July to begin construction in order to comply with environmental restrictions, although they won’t remain idle waiting for Summer — workers are expected to begin site preparation, stockpiling stones, preparing plant vegetation, and installing the sand fence sometime in April.

Though the work may appear start and stop periodically, the Corps said the parking lot and beach will remain closed until Phase II is completed sometime in December, to allow the vegetation they’ll be planting along the dunes to take root.

The bike lane will be detoured through the western half of the parking lot, although it will stay connected on both ends and remain open throughout the project.

Locals aren’t quite sure why the Army is bothering to reroute the bike lane, however, considering it was largely obliterated in a 2009 nor’easter — and Sandy wiped it out.

“As far as detouring away from the bike lane, it’s not open right now anyway, so it shouldn’t cause anyone much trouble,” said Kathleen Flynn, president of the Plumb Beach Civic Association.

In regards to the impending beach and parking lot closures, those inconveniences pale in the face of losing the Belt Parkway, which would have already gone the way of Atlantis if the Army hadn’t beat Sandy to the punch and heaped loads of sand onto the beach in 2012 for Phase I of their storm-risk-reduction project, according to Sheepshead Bay local and Bay Improvement Group member Tom Scalese.

“It’s been a horror for several years,” said Scalese. “We’ve been complaining about erosion on the beach even before Sandy, and if they hadn’t built up the beach last year, the parkway would be underwater already.”

“Anybody that has any problems shouldn’t even think about it,” Scalese added. “You’ve gotta think about the community and what this work will do for it.” Bikers may not be missing much, but windsurfers will have to take one for the team, said Flynn.

The beach has become a popular hub for windsurfers in the warm season, who will miss out on the open, windy waters once the beach is closed.

“The windsurfers may be upset, though,” said Flynn. “You see them out there everyday, all day long.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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Reader Feedback

Karen Orlando from Floyd Bennett says:
Cyclists have been "detouring" from the bike lane for years now. Which includes riding in the right hand lane of the belt to avoiding the path altogether. How it took so long to get this work done is incredible as sand was pushed right up to the Belt many times. I imagine when all this work is done, they should figure out a clear path for the windsurfers to exit in and out of the beach, in order to give them access and protect dunes. I can't see why there seems to be a competition about who is effected here by the long delay on these repairs as the delay put the Belt at risk and effected all the beach users. I've seen people at that park many times engaged in neither cycling nor windsurfing.
April 9, 2013, 2:55 pm
kelly from bay ridge says:
does anyone know when plum beach will reopen?
June 12, 2013, 2:10 pm
Jerry from Marine Park says:
The gays are really perturbed ! OH YES....Plum Beach (the parking lot) and surrounding trails and paths and wooded spots have been used by gay men for clandestine "cruising" of anonymous sex since the 70's. While the activity has substantially waned since the lot is officially on curfew and closes at 9 pm every evening, it still attracts gays that do sun bathe, (often nude);and go in the bay to swim and cruise-around for anonymous sex on the eastern end of Jamaica bay. Before the closure from 9 pm to 6 am daily after a murder in the lot (c.2000),it was jumping in the late night to early morning hours and the lot was always full of gay men on the prowl !
June 18, 2013, 3:27 pm
Shaneequa Davis from Canarsie says:
When are they going to expand the size of that outdated parking lot anyhow ? It's there since the 1960's with the old red brick bathrooms and the rear was a snack bar facing Jamaica Bay. Both have been closed since the late 70's.,but the parking lot size has never grown. Once Plum Beach was all but forgotten and no one went there much any longer. It was cleaned-up and rediscovered around 2005 and is now quite popular with locals. However,on weekends in Summer, you can not get a parking space after 11 am. There is plenty of room moving East towards Queens to expand the lot on the grassy shoulder where there are only trees, poison ivy and cats !WAKE-UP Park's Dep't and expand that lot to accommodate the amount of people that want to enjoy the beach and surrounding area in warmer months !
June 18, 2013, 3:35 pm
Shaneequa Davis from Canarsie says:
When are they going to expand the size of the parking lot ? In Summer, you can not get a parking spot after 11 am. There is plenty of room moving Easterly towards the Marine Park Bridge on the shoulder to lengthen the parking lot and accommodate the people that want to use Plum Beach and the surrounding are in the warmer months.
June 18, 2013, 3:39 pm
Tommy from Sheepshead Bay says:
Gays need Plum Beach and the parking lot for cruising ! Oh yes...this has been a well known and popular "cruise-zone" for gay and bi-sexual men as a pick-up spot for anonymous sex for decades. It used to be open 24 X 7 before 2001 and was much more popular, particularly at night. However, it still was a destination for that activity, even though there was a curfew of 6 am -to- 9 pm daily after a man was killed there. Hurricane Sandy left the lot covered in flood waters, sand and debris. Still in all, men use the lot and surrounding trails and dunes heading East for cruising for sex. You can find used load-filled condoms, spent lube tubes, dildos and assorted gay porno magazines strewn all around the area. We want the place is part of the history of Plum Beach !
Aug. 7, 2013, 8:56 am
Richie from Gerritsen Beach says:
Plum Beach on Jamaica Bay was popular in the 1960's and even had picnic tables. It fell into serious disrepair in the 70's and 80's, like the rest of the city, due to the fiscal crisis and was by and large forgotten by most. In the 90's it was litter strewn, full of weeds and just not a place to go with a family. When Giuliani closed the narrow rest stop just east over the bridge around 1998, Plum Beach became a "Gay Cruising Spot." It always was a clandestine spot where gay and bi-sexual men frequented for anonymous pick-ups. However, the other lot was not used by families or others and had great access to the dunes and covered trails towards the bay. This made it an optimal area for men to cruise around for hot sex ! Once they removed it, Plumb Beach became the next best thing. When Michael Sandy was murdered there, a curfew was put in place; (6 am -to- 9 pm.) This was in 2006. After that, the activity waned but still existed within the allotted time. Prior to 2006, it was open 24 X 7 and was really active. In particular, in the late night to early morning hours. The lot was filled with cars on the East end and men of all ages would get out of their vehicles and "cruise" the trails, dunes, forest and surrounding area for a hot and non-stop gay sex orgie !
Aug. 7, 2013, 9:23 am
James Whelan from Groveville says:
Gay men have being enjoying this parking lot at Plum Beach and the surrounding trails and scrublands since the mid 1970's. It used to be open 24 x 7 before a man named Michael Sandy in 2006 was murdered there. Now it is on curfew, any closes at 9 pm every evening and re-opens at 6 am daily. However, it certainly is not what is once was. Always a very popular "Cruise-Spot" for young and older gay and bi-sexual men alike. That was pre 2000,when it was mostly forgotten by the mainstream and strewn with debris, litter and just a forgotten beach in Brooklyn by most. It was cleaned up considerably, starting around 2007,and this brought people back. Gays are clamoring for the lot to reopen, this way, in the warm months and in Summer they can congregate there and cruise around for anonymous sex once more .....OH YES !
Nov. 18, 2013, 8:25 am
Mike A. Tango from Queens says:
What many people don't realize or speak of was the rather large group of heterosexual swinger couples that would show up in the lot at night. Sometimes five or six cars would be squeezed tightly together so the couples could watch each other. Single men were frequently encouraged to watch as well. It was not unusuall for windows to role down so the men outside the car, could touch or be touched by the women, escorted by husbands etc., inside the cars. It was a very unique place.
Jan. 24, 2014, 8:26 pm
Steve from Windsor Terrace says:
Each year since 1996, 3 3rd grade classes have been participating in the International Beach Clean-up in October. Usually about 100 students,teachers and parents make the annual trip out to Plumb Beach to clean. The most common pollutants on the beach are food related bottles, cups, dishes, utensils, plastics and glass materials. There are lots of cigarette buts, needles, and a variety of other waste. Most comes from visitors to the beach rather than non-point source pollution. We also plant sea grass in the spring and our contribution survived Sandy! We've adopted that beach for 18 years and we always pick up between 500 to 1000 pounds of waste. We began recycling the plastic and glass bottles four years ago. We ask that people be more careful about taking out all trash. After we clean we seine and beachcomb for an hour. Imagine if we didn't have to clean and could simply enjoy the beach the entire visit...
May 10, 2014, 11:50 pm
Surfer from Greenpoint says:
No info can be found if Plum beach is open, ...nowhere.
No one answer to the simple question someone asked over a year ago, but everyone seems to be fluent in a matter of homos there.....
Aug. 9, 2014, 12:43 pm

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