New York Mayor Announces $100 Million Investment in Flood Protection for Lower Manhattan

Yesterday, New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced a new City capital commitment of $100 million to help protect Lower Manhattan from flooding.

The announcement comes as the country marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and approaches the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

At an event to showcase emergency preparedness plans, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “This new investment will continue to ensure that New York City is a global leader in protecting itself against the impacts of climate change”.

The investment will go toward integrated flood protection around the southern tip of Lower Manhattan, stretching from Montgomery Street in the Two Bridges neighborhood on the Lower East Side, down and around to the northern end of Battery Park City.

“Lower Manhattan has critical resiliency and storm protection needs,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “This commitment for Manhattan’s southern tip – from Montgomery around the Battery – will go a long way to ensuring a safer, more resilient neighborhood. And it comes on the heels of our previous successful push for $14.75 million for Manhattan’s southern tip and our work to secure funds north of Montgomery Street, bringing us closer to the needed storm coverage throughout lower Manhattan.”

New York’s $20 Billion Resiliency Plan

The new flood protection system will complement the City’s comprehensive $20 billion resiliency plan already underway around the five boroughs, including the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project being built from Montgomery Street north to East 23rd Street.

The City, in collaboration with partners like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has already implemented a number of short-term resiliency measures, such as additional sand and dunes on the City’s beaches and repairs and improvements to City facilities, boardwalks, and other infrastructure.  The City and its partners are also implementing a variety of coastal resiliency measures such as beach improvements and wetland enhancements in the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay, a levee on the East Shore of Staten Island, investments at the food distribution center in Hunts Point, a comprehensive study at Coney Island Creek, and integrated flood protection in Red Hook.  This is supplemented by significant resiliency investments being made in City infrastructure, such as $3 billion for NYCHA developments, $1.7 billion for public hospitals, and other measures to prepare for the impacts of climate change and other 21st century threats.

The City will also leverage this new funding commitment to Lower Manhattan to bolster its application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition. This summer, the City was selected to join Phase 2 of the competition, which was designed to improve resiliency in eligible communities across the country. If the City’s application is successful, it could be eligible for up to $500 million in additional funding –  potentially sextupling the amount of resiliency funding for this Lower Manhattan project.

Floods after Storm Sandy. Battery Park, Manhattan. Photo: Timothy Krause, under Creative Commons
Floods after Storm Sandy. Battery Park, Manhattan. Photo: Timothy Krause, under Creative Commons