Last week, Mayor Bloomberg and New York City Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White visited Coney Island to announce the opening of all New York City beaches for the 2013 season. The kick-off was even more special than in past years because it also included beaches in places like the Rockaways, Coney Island and Cedar Grove that were badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. After the storm, there was speculation over whether these areas could be restored in time for Memorial Day weekend, but all doubts were erased this morning with the unveiling of even better, more resilient facilities at these locations.

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“A few months ago, our region’s beaches were scenes of the tragic devastation left by Hurricane Sandy,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “In the wake of the storm, we promised New Yorkers that, no matter what it would take, every one of our City’s beaches would be open on Memorial Day. And today, I’m very excited to make it official: All eight of the City’s free public beaches will be open for the 2013 season beginning this Saturday.”

According to the Mayor’s Office, the restoration could have taken four years but was instead completed in just five months. More than $270 million was spent to rebuild Coney Island/Brighton and Manhattan Beaches in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; Orchard Beach in the Bronx; and Midland, Wolfe’s Pond, Cedar Grove and South Beaches in Staten Island. The clean-up was organized with the help of the Partnerships for Parks and NYC Service, and saw close to 8,000 volunteers come out to clear away more than 40,000 cubic yards of debris – enough to fill 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Many of the Sandy-damaged beaches also have new flood-proof, prefab public restrooms and lifeguard stations. Designed by Garrison Architects, the modular structures were fabricated off-site and generate their own energy using solar panels. Click here for more information on these new beach buildings.

NYC beaches will be open every day from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM through September 2.

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