Geosynthetics to the rescue
The disastrous consequences of Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012 have resulted in a significant investment by the U.S. Government for the future protection of its vulnerable eastern seaboard. Among the options being considered in this regard is the use of TenCate Geotube® technology. TenCate’s office in Washington D.C. is coordinating efforts to inform members of Congress, many of whom representing areas affected by the storm, on the great potential of TenCate Geotube®.
Earlier this year the U.S. Congress allocated federal funds to enable state and local governments to reinforce their coastal defences. TenCate is now informing members of Congress and their staff about TenCate Geotube® technology and the low cost/high return they provide for the vulnerable communities in their districts. The TenCate Office of Public & Government Relations (P&GR) in Washington D.C. is coordinating these efforts jointly with TenCate Geosynthetics Americas. In the US Senate and House of Representatives visits have been paid to 14 different offices representing districts and areas affected by Sandy.
As part of this campaign, representatives of TenCate Geosynthetics received an invitation to a meeting with New York local officials, which was held on Staten Island, NY.
Meeting on Staten IslandThe meeting was organized by Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-11). The central theme was how the continuing erosion along Staten Island’s beaches have left its communities extremely vulnerable to rising tides – as demonstrated by Sandy last year. According to Michael Grimm new measures, like TenCate Geotube® technology, need to examined by local authorities to limit future damage communities along Staten Island’s shores. A seawall for the entire coastline of Staten Island is too expensive and therefore not a viable solution. Other options, such as this, must be examined. ‘Time is of the essence.’ Since this meeting, several projects for the creation of Sand Berms in Staten Island have been announced for public comment and solicitation.
On the shore. From right to left: Congressman Michael Grimm, Vicki Ginter (consultant and previously marketing manager, TenCate Geosynthetics) and Ed Trainer (market manager, Marine & Coastline, TenCate Geosynthetics USA)
Henk Guitjens has personally experienced the disruption caused by Sandy. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Netherlands-America Foundation and the Committee Chair of the Peter Stuyvesant Ball. He lives on Long Island (Amityville, New York) on the Great South Bay. He too has seen a change in attitude taking place. ‘Residents who have suffered damage are putting pressure on their local members of Congress. You read articles which stress the need to switch to new techniques. In New Jersey TenCate Geotube® containers have been proven to work.’ He knows that TenCate has a reputable name. ‘The whole method of protection using TenCate Geotube® is unique and environmentally friendly.
The use of TenCate Geotube® containers as dune core in a variety of places on the eastern seaboard of the US ensured that damage there was fairly limited (photo November 2012)
According to Rob de Vos, consul general of the Netherlands in the United States, TenCate Geotube® is ‘a great product, which has already clearly demonstrated its value in practice – also in the US. After the work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and in the New York / New Jersey region, there is a great deal of interest in the US in Dutch solutions. The embassy in Washington and the consulate general in New York are working together as brokers to bring the Dutch operators who are offering products / solutions and services in contact with the relevant US players.’ The Dutch position is in his view unique: ‘There is no other country in the world in which there is so much interest in water technology, coastal defences, etc. Nonetheless, a lot of work still needs to be done.’