ROCKAWAY BEACH, Queens (PIX11) —  It has been nearly 10 years since Superstorm Sandy devastated Rockaway Beach.

“Hurricane Sandy absolutely demolished the Rockaways, between flooding [and] eroding the beach. Originally, they had a wooden boardwalk that was just torn to pieces,” said Michael Oseback, a project manager at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New York District.

Superstorm Sandy’s floodwaters surged over the Rockaway peninsula, taking homes and businesses with it. 

“It impacted the locals, their daily lifestyles. It affected their homes, it affected their businesses and just their natural way of living,” Oseback said.

Now, after years of delays, a months-long project is underway to create dunes to prevent something like this from happening again.

“Approximately two and a half million cubic yards of sand will be placed along the shoreline, and it’s all coming from the offshore borrow area,” Oseback said.

Here’s how the beach replenishment project works. A large ship uses hydraulics to take sand from the ocean floor, 50 feet below the surface of the water. The sand is then pushed through a series of pipes and brought onto the beach. Bulldozers then spread out the sand, creating a 250-foot wide sandy area along the 7.5-mile-long beach. Altogether, the project is costing taxpayers $350 million, using recovery money allocated by the U.S. Congress after Sandy hit.

While the people overseeing the project say this is helping rebuild the Rockaways stronger and better than ever, experts at the U.S. Geological Survey said more needs to be done.

“It’s a Band-Aid on a problem,” said S. Jeffress Williams, a senior scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey. “As far as combating long-term climate change, beach nourishment is not the answer.”

Williams said the government should be trying to encourage Americans to pack up and move.

“If we want to think about planning for the next several decades — 50 years or 100 years — we really need to be thinking about moving away from the shoreline. Nobody wants to hear that,” he said. “But New York City is extremely vulnerable, as are Washington and Philadelphia, Norfolk and so forth, and so there’s going to be a real competition for the money to protect all of these cities.”

New York City is also working to protect Lower Manhattan from storm surges. On Wednesday, officials broke ground on a new resiliency project there. Meanwhile, the MTA said that, 10 years later, 50% of its Sandy recovery projects are complete.