Army Corps proposes constructing hurricane barriers across the NY Harbor to stop flooding

July 9, 2018

Via US Army Corps

In response to intensifying hurricanes that have hit the New York and New Jersey coastal region in recent years, the U.S. Army Corps is proposing a handful of measures to reduce the risk of storm damage. The proposals include constructing barriers, either in-water or land-based, and floodwalls that would stretch over 2,000 square miles across New York Habor to protect the area’s waterfront neighborhoods.

The barriers, already being used in cities like Stamford, Conn. and London, would have gates that remain open to let ships pass, but close when a hurricane is advancing (h/t WNYC). After completing a study that looked at nine high-risk areas, including 25 counties in NY and NJ, on the Atlantic Coast, the Corps this month will present the proposals at public information sessions across the two states.

Four of the five options detail some sort of storm surge barrier or sea wall. These include a five-mile-long barrier between New Jersey’s Sandy Hook and Breezy Point in the Rockaways; a barrier the width of the channel that the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge spans; multiple floodwalls and levees at low-lying waterfront; and shoreline-based floodwalls only.

Riverkeeper, an organization dedicated to protecting the Hudson River and its tributaries, said storm surge barriers “threaten the very existence of the Hudson as a living river.” In an article on its website, the organization says the offshore barriers would restrict tidal flow, causing contamination, and hinder the migration of fish.

While Riverkeeper said action is required to mitigate effects of big storms, “there is a difference between building more protective, resilient shorelines over time, and installing massive, in-water barriers that threaten to change the Hudson River and New York Harbor ecosystem forever.” The group is calling for more information, more public meetings and says the proposals do not address rising sea levels.

This week, the Corps is hosting the following public meetings:

  • July 9 from 3-5 pm and 6-8 pm at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in Tribeca
  • July 10 from 3-5 pm at Rutgers University Newark Campus
  • July 11 from 6-8 pm at the Hudson Valley Community Center in Poughkeepsie

Review the presentation of the study here.

[Via WNYC]


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