Tag Archives: A Stronger

Op-Ed: Comprehensive initiatives to make New York City’s waterfront stronger

| oped@queenscourier.com


EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s weekly radio address

New York City’s waterfront is an incredible resource that contributes to the great quality of life we New Yorkers enjoy. It’s also a backyard for millions of families and our first line of defense against future storms and flooding. We’re hard at work strengthening those defenses – including in the Rockaways and nearby Jamaica Bay, where last week we made major progress on several initiatives that will make the area more resilient than ever, as well as benefit our entire city for decades to come.

The first is our work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete an all-out sand replenishment effort in the Rockaways. It will help fulfill one of the pledges we outlined in “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” our comprehensive plan to protect our city from the effects of climate change. In the next couple of months, the Army Corps will bring about 3.5 million- cubic-yards of sand to Rockaway Beach, and last week I visited the beach with Parks Commissioner Veronica White to inspect our progress. A first phase of about 600,000-cubic- yards of sand is being pumped now from Beach 89th to Beach 149th Streets.

Replenishing the sand at Rockaway Beach complements our earlier work there, including building a series of protective walls and installing sand-filled “trap bags” that will serve as the core for a new dune. Together, these measures will not only reverse damage to the beach done by Sandy – they will make the beach stronger than it was before the storm, and more protective for nearby communities.

Rebuilding our beaches is vitally important; but in addition to building back stronger, we’re also continuing the coastal protection work that we began before Sandy struck. That includes our effort to both protect one of our great natural treasures – Jamaica Bay – and create a world-class Science and Resiliency Institute there whose focus will be protecting and preserving urban ecosystems from development and from the effects of climate change.

Last summer, the city and the National Park Service signed a historic cooperative agreement for co-managing Jamaica Bay’s 10,000 acres of federal and city-owned parkland. I joined Interior Secretary Sally Jewel to announce the formal establishment of the new Jamaica Bay – Rockaway Parks Conservancy. The organization will help raise funds for the parkland covered by the agreement, collaborate with the community on programming, and help promote the parkland as a destination. We also announced that a consortium led by the City University of New York, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, will head the new Science and Resiliency Institute at Jamaica Bay. The Institute will serve as a coordinating body for the fieldwork taking place around the bay, and provide lab space for researchers and students. We expect the Institute’s work will do a lot to help reduce dangers to our city from future storms, and help other cities around the world confront the challenges of climate change as well.

From restoring our coastline to establishing a new ecology research center, we’re helping to prepare our city for all the climate risks we face, both now and in the future.



Bloomberg presents plan to protect city against climate change

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

NYC Mayor's Flickr/Photo by Spencer T Tucker

Sandy not only showed New York’s City vulnerability to powerful storms; the superstorm also highlighted the future impact climate change could have.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg released the results of a 430-page report on Tuesday examining that very issue. The report contains 250 recommendations on how the city can further protect its neighborhoods and infrastructure against climate events.

“We’ve done a lot to attack the causes of climate change and make our city less vulnerable to its possible effects,” Bloomberg said during his announcement of the report, entitled “A Stronger, More Resilient New York.”

“But Sandy – which tragically took the lives of 43 New Yorkers — made it all too clear that, no matter how far we’ve come, we still face real, immediate threats,” he continued.

The report assesses weather-related threats such as hurricanes, droughts, heavy downpours and heat waves as well as rising sea levels that could result from climate change.

To mitigate the damage from such phenomena, the report makes recommendations for coastal protections. Several are specific to Queens.

Proposals for the borough include studying future surge barriers for Jamaica Bay, installing a dune system on the Rockaway Peninsula, setting up a storm surge barrier at Newtown Creek with gates and connecting levees and installing and raising bulkheads to protect the shoreline in south Queens.

The report also makes recommendations on flood resistant measures for buildings. Those include $1.2 billion in loans or grants for owners to reinforce their structures.

Further, the report calls for reducing flood insurance rates for homeowners through methods other than elevating people’s homes, and for creating more insurance price options.

Beyond flooding, the report looks at ways to strengthen the city’s healthcare system. Methods include making sure facilities are prepared to handle patients’ needs as well as power, telecommunications and other critical systems during disasters.

To read the full report, click here.