New York City faces many threats from climate change, not least among them the threat of coastal storms and sea-level rise. Events like Hurricane Sandy are not soon forgotten, and the city must grapple with how to provide future protection for residents and infrastructure along its 520 miles of coastline, while balancing other impacts and interests. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released a tentative plan for coastal intervention in New York and New Jersey and it is time to weigh in.
Demand the Army Corps take a comprehensive, localized approach to flood protection!
Climate change has made New York vulnerable to an increasing number of severe storms and the flooding that often follows. This will only get worse in the coming decades, climate projections show. Following Hurricane Sandy, the Army Corps of Engineers commenced a study to evaluate these flood risks in the area surrounding the New York-New Jersey Harbor and Estuary and along the east coast. The Army Corps proposed a plan for addressing some of these risks late last year, which would cost $52.6 billion and would not be completed until 2044. This tentatively selected plan, 3B, relies almost entirely on “grey infrastructure” being built – flood walls and similar barriers – while largely ignoring solutions made in conjunction with nature. The plan fails to adequately value social impacts to our region, such as those on environmental justice communities. The plan also fails to use this opportunity to address multiple flood threats, such as day-to-day sea-level rise and inland flooding from rain storms.
The Army Corps’ proposed plan delays consideration of nature-based solutions, uses insufficient sea-level rise estimates, and fails to value our diverse communities. Join us in calling on the Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider their plan, and work with communities to develop a local alternative, in light of these shortcomings!
The Public Comment Deadline has been EXTENDED until Friday, March 31st, so send your comments today!
The NYC Group’s Sustainability Series webinar on February 15th, 2023 discussed the science and options for coastal flood risk management, as well as some details of this plan. It included three distinguished expert speakers:
- Paul Gallay: Columbia Center for Sustainable Urban Development
- Klaus Jacob: Columbia Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
- Johanna Lawton: Rebuild By Design
The recording of the webinar and the slides can be found HERE
More information on the study and comment period can be found here: NY & NJ Harbour and Tributaries Focus Area Feasibility Study (HATS)