The city is beefing up security around Staten Island's waterfront after off-roading all-terrain vehicle riders ruined berms installed along the waterfront.
Originally reported by NY1, residents say they've witnessed ATV riders go off road on along the beach in Great Kills, destroying sand dunes installed in September to protect the waterfront from storm surges.
A few weeks ago, Staten Islanders in the area set more than 65,000 beach grass plants along the berms, which were designed to fortify the barrier in response to Superstorm Sandy.
"It is crucial that people stay off the dunes at all times, especially while they're young and growing in," wrote Parks Department spokeswoman Tara Kiernan. "Dune grass can be killed by people and pets…and ATV's…trampling them."
The berms were originally installed in 2013 as a part of a $2.8 million project, paid for largely by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Staten Island Councilman Vincent Ignizio stood on site when the project broke ground last fall in Tottenville, at the time recognizing the need to support an eroding shoreline.
He reprimanded the joyriders on Monday.
"The city did not spend millions of taxpayer dollars to build these dunes just for the enjoyment of some thrill-seekers," Ignizio said in a statement.
"They should take a look around Crescent Beach to witness the damage that still exists from Hurricane Sandy," he added, "and maybe then they’ll understand why these dunes are critical to protecting these flood-plagued communities from another storm surge."
Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter@chestersoria