What Is So Bad About Staten Island – New York City’s recent efforts to combat climate change underscore the fact that the city faces a very precarious future.
On the east coast of Staten Island, New York City’s first major responses to the existential threat of climate change may soon be realized. Last March, the last bit of bureaucratic red tape was lifted to allow construction of a 5.3-mile barrier stretching from Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) now plans to break ground on the $615 million project in 2020, and expects it to be completed in about four years.
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Officially known as the South Shore of the Staten Island Coastal Storm Hazard Management Project, the USACE barrier is awe-inspiring in its scope. It would include a 4.3-mile seawall with a public park, a mile of levees and flood walls, and more than 180 acres of newly dug stormwater detention ponds. The project covers an area of more than 30,000 residents and 7,300 buildings, and will protect some of the coastal areas that sustained the most damage during Hurricane Sandy, including Arrowhead, South Beach, Ocean Breeze, Graham Beach, Midland Beach and New Dorp. Beach, and Oakwood Beach.
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“The project is designed to reduce the risk of flooding, severe storms such as nordic cyclones, tornadoes, and other weather events that include tidal waves. Specifically, the project is designed to operate under a storm that represents a 300-year flood (a storm with a 0.3 percent probability of occurring in a year certain)”. “It provides a complete solution that includes project features to address flooding not only from coastal storms, but from rainfall.”
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012, areas near the seawall site were severely damaged, with seawater rushing through streets, collapsing homes, and killing 24 Staten Island residents. For the intact communities along this stretch of coast — including Archer, Midland Beach, and New Dorp Beach — the construction of the USF barrier cannot come soon enough. Many flood-damaged homes in these neighborhoods were evacuated after the storm, awaiting repair, demolition or elevation above the flood plain, while temporary coastal barriers that had been set up had already begun to collapse. If another big storm hits the ocean today, some of these neighborhoods could flood again.
Unfortunately, the Staten Island seawall will not arrive in time to save all the areas in its shadow. Three communities adjacent to the barrier — Ocean Breeze, Graham Beach, and Oakwood Beach — were almost completely destroyed as part of a “managed sanctuary” away from the waterfront. The takeover program was facilitated by the New York State Office of Storm Recovery and has helped hundreds of Staten Island homeowners move away from the coast. No new structures can be built on these properties in the future, and much of the land protected by the new seawall is already permanently uninhabited, inhabited only by deer, geese, opossums, and turkeys.
Despite extensive research by USACE, it is uncertain how much protection this barrier will be able to provide in the future, as sea levels continue to rise. According to a 2016 feasibility report, the seawall is intended to protect the coast from storm surges “about 2 feet above sea level” during Hurricane Sandy and prepare for “moderate rates of sea level rise.” 1.1 feet over the next 50 years.” That’s a significant rate of sea level rise compared to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation projections, which expect sea levels to rise between 1.5 feet and 6.25 feet over the next 81 years.
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The $14 billion USACE barrier system around New Orleans is now overwhelmed and may soon be inadequate. Despite having been completed just 11 months ago, USACE openly admits that Staten Island may need its own system barrier as well. As sea levels continue to rise in the future. “Because the project consists primarily of rigid structures, they are designed to last indefinitely as long as they are properly maintained. In the future, the project could be modified to accommodate potential sea level rise. According to Varga, “
The Staten Island Seawall is the first of many massive projects nearing construction along New York City’s waterfront. USACE&NJ is also working to determine its final plan for the Ports and Tributaries Focus Area feasibility study, where it will consider five different options for a system of storm barriers and levees built around the entire New York waterfront. You will decide between them. Proposals The prices of these proposals range from $15 billion to $118 billion.
The East Coast Resilience Project is also now moving forward, expected to be completed by 2023 at a cost of $1.45 billion. The project would protect a stretch of the Manhattan shoreline from Montgomery Street to East 25th Street on the Lower East Side and raise the park’s height from eight to ten, a controversial decision that would close East River Park for 3.5 years. New proposal includes elevated feet
Last March, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $10 billion plan to protect lower Manhattan from storms and sea level rise. His proposal included extending the island’s shoreline by 500 feet to the Hudson River and East River, “to create new land with a high point 20 feet or more above present sea level.” However, despite its huge cost, the project will not protect lower Manhattan from rising sea levels by 2100, according to a New York Magazine article about de Blasio.
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“We will do it, because we have no other choice,” the article said. “This country has wasted years pretending it has the luxury of discussing climate change. The national emergency is already here. We have to fill it head on.”
It is both encouraging and frightening to see these proposals moving forward. On the one hand, it is encouraging to know that city, state, and federal governments are finally starting to take concrete steps to address the existential threat of climate change. On the other hand, despite the magnitude of these proposals, and the long-term changes they will bring to our shores, these projects may prove to be only short-term solutions, reflecting the reality that New York City faces. A very difficult time. Bad Future We hope that parts of our coastline can be saved from rising waters.
The proposed location of the US Department of Defense’s new Staten Island Seawall begins just south of Fort Wadsworth and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, in an area currently protected by a shallow sandbar.
The length of the Franklin line is D. The Roosevelt Walk across the berm also begins here. The entire boardwalk will be demolished and replaced with a 2.5-mile section of buried seawall and armored dike, which will be raised about 20 feet above sea level and a new 38-foot-wide boardwalk will be built. This portion of the seawall will extend to Midland Beach.
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The Roosevelt Boardwalk is the last completely intact boardwalk in New York City. After Hurricane Sandy, most of the Rockaway Boardwalk and large portions of the Coney Island Boardwalk were replaced with concrete and other materials.
The walkway is currently a sand dune barrier and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. During Hurricane Sandy, seawater rose above the beach here, before crossing Father Capodanno Street and reaching the neighborhoods.
Parallel to the boardwalk, a long row of houses was built along Via Father Capodanno, an elevated avenue that runs along 2.5 miles of beach. The homes off the boulevard are in a low-lying area that filled with floodwaters like a bowl during Hurricane Sandy.
Many homes in South Beach are built directly on wetlands, surrounded by creeks, ponds, and lakes. This South Beach apartment complex, called Crestwater Court Community, is located between the three waters of the South Beach Pond Preserve and the South Beach Bluebelt, about 1,000 feet from the ocean. The USACE proposal involves excavating a larger 19-acre pond around the complex, known as Drainage Area E.
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In Arrochar, homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy stand empty. The property, located on a street called Sonmaid Village, was submerged by sea water by about eight feet. The flood line is visible in the photo at left, which was taken in November 2012. The house is now owned by Project Rebuild, a nonprofit associated with the city’s Build It Back program.
Franklin d. The boardwalk portion of the Roosevelt Walk ends near a high cliff in the neighborhood.