Tag Archives: shoreline

Bloomberg says city will rebuild smarter along shore


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Despite record storm surges, Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to rebuild along the shore, but said it must be “smarter, stronger and more sustainable.”

Bloomberg made the remarks at the New York Marriott Downtown to an audience that included former Vice President Al Gore.

“Let me be clear: We are not going to abandon the waterfront,” Bloomberg said. “We are not going to leave the Rockaways or Coney Island or Staten Island’s South Shore. But we can’t just rebuild what was there and hope for the best.”

The city’s more than 500 miles of shoreline include some of the most desirable places to live, but also the most vulnerable.

Bloomberg announced the launch of an engineering analysis of coastal protection strategies to understand the best options to help protect the city.

An expansion of Zone A will be considered, he said, as well as new structural requirements to ensure that buildings can withstand intense winds and waves. While sea walls are not a likely option, dunes, jetties and levees must be considered to protect the city from rising storm surges, he said.

“We may or may not see another storm like Sandy in our lifetimes, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that we should leave it to our children to prepare for the possibility,” said Bloomberg. “And sea levels are expected to rise by another two and a half feet by the time a child born today reaches 40 years old, and that’s going to make surges even more powerful and dangerous.”

More than two-thirds of homes damaged by Sandy were outside of FEMA’s 100-year flood maps. The maps are drawn to represent an area likely to be flooded about once per century.

“No matter how much we do to make homes and businesses more resilient, the fact of the matter is we live next to the ocean, and the ocean comes with risks that we just cannot eliminate,” Bloomberg said.

Preventing another Sandy


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/PHOTO BY TERENCE M. CULLEN

With climate change entering the common lexicon, politicians and environmental advocates believe preventative measures are necessary to ensure New York City is protected from future storms.

Last week, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn proposed a series of mechanisms to shield the city against flooding and storms by strengthening buildings, energy and sewer systems, mass transit and gasoline distribution – priced at about $20 billion.

“We stand in a unique moment that carries with it a unique opportunity,” said Quinn. “The future of our planet, the world our grandchildren inherit, depends on what we do in the months and years ahead. At this moment the need for action cannot be ignored – the cost of this enterprise cannot be dismissed as too great.”

One of the front-runners in the 2013 mayoral race, Quinn detailed her proposed plan to protect the city, including an agreement with the Bloomberg administration to fast track two studies, analyzing climate-related threats against New York, to be completed by April 2013. The plan also included reinforcing Con Ed and burying power lines in vulnerable neighborhoods.

Quinn announced that Senator Charles Schumer will head an initiative to obtain an Army Corps of Engineers study to conclusively determine the necessity of constructing storm surge barriers.

A spokesperson for Quinn said there is no time frame in place for the project.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also spoke about the future changes to review of New York’s emergency weather preparedness.

Tactics to increase the state’s protection include fortifying transportation, energy and environmental systems, replacing damaged infrastructure with structures designed to withstand a tempest and integrating long-term plans regarding infrastructure planning, protection and development into New York’s economic development strategies.

“Over the past two years, New York State has been hit by some of the most destructive storms in our state’s history, causing untold damage and the tragic loss of many lives,” said Cuomo. “Regardless of the cause of these storms, New York State must undertake major reforms to adapt to the reality that storms such as Sandy, Irene and Lee can hit the state at any time.”