For Americans within driving distance of the coast—most Americans, that is—the arrival of Memorial Day means the beginning of beach season. But seven months after Hurricane Sandy swallowed dunes, sucked boardwalks and piers into the ocean, and generally reshaped the Northeast’s coastline, the status of area beaches is in question for tens of millions of people.
The most hardy among us don’t need public bathrooms, concession stands or even a proper beach to hit the waves, but the rest of us, well, at least give us some sand.
Coming to the rescue is local rag The New York Times with the (partial) answer to your post-Sandy beach inquiries. The good news is that only six of the 179 beaches the Times surveyed will be closed on Memorial Day—and those are expected to open by July 4 at the latest.
The bad news is that many of the surveyed beaches still have long, expensive recoveries ahead of them. Long Island’s immensely popular Long Beach just outside of New York City, for example, lost miles of boardwalk that will cost an estimated $44 million to replace. Fire Island National Seashore, part of the national park system, was split in two by a breach near its Wilderness Visitors Center and officials may leave it that way.
Still, residents of New York City, Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey will have at least 173 options for waves and sun, and that’s remarkable considering their state a few short months ago.