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Coastal, Natural and Water Infrastructure

Coastal, Natural and Water Infrastructure

In partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the State will make a concerted effort to bring damaged public recreational infrastructure back before the summer season and the next storm season, while building natural infrastructure, such as dunes, to minimize the damage of future floods. As determined by the 2100 Commission, Sandy served as a wakeup call that the State must develop a more robust system of defenses that merges traditional engineered, artificial infrastructure with natural infrastructure.

How it Breaks Down:

  • $3.5B from CDBG, FEMA HMGP, FEMA PA and USACE to repair and help mitigate coastal beaches, dunes and other coastal projects
  • The State will create a Natural and Coastal Infrastructure Planning Fund of $850M to help deploy natural infrastructure with the Army Corps of Engineers to mitigate the impacts of future storms.

As determined by the 2100 Commission, Sandy served as a wakeup call that the State must develop a more robust system of defenses that merges traditional engineered, artifi cial infrastructure with natural infrastructure.


Beach, Dune and Coastal Restoration

In partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the State is doing everything it can to bring damaged public recreational infrastructure back before the summer season and the next storm season.

The Jones Beach boardwalk sustained crippling damage from Superstorm Sandy. Riverbank and Gantry Plaza State Parks suffered significant landscape, amenity, structural and utility damage. Other parks across Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley lost hundreds of trees, trails and support facilities. Structures and piers in Lower Manhattan experienced significant damage to structural, electrical and mechanical equipment and distribution systems. Some of the Park's recreational amenities, such as floating docks and playing fields, were destroyed by the storm surge. As a result of Hudson River tidal action, the Nyack Beach Seawall and trail were severely damaged and compromised. The seawall was partially compromised and the heavily used trail collapsed in certain sections. Restoration of the seawall is critical to the protection of improved agency-owned property, and the trail is a critical link to a network of trails in the area.

The Hudson River Park, owing to its location along the Hudson River estuary at the mouth of the New York Harbor, suffered extensive damage to its buildings, electrical and mechanical systems and some park pier finishes as a direct result of the winds and storm surge associated with Superstorm Sandy. The Park needs to repair and mitigate damages caused by the storm and re-mediate against damages likely to result from future extreme weather events.

Significant damage to recreational beaches and parks requires repair and mitigation efforts. The DEC identified multiple beaches (not including those required for dune/other flood protection structures) that will require restoration as part of Army Corps of Engineering projects.

NYSDOT and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) are repairing Ocean Parkway and the dunes that support the Parkway, as well as Gilgo Beach and Robert Moses Beach to the south of the Parkway. The nourishment of these beaches is essential to the protection of improved property and to the restoration of the recreational resources for the 3.5 million visitors to Robert Moses State Park. The dredging underway at Fire Island Inlet will serve as the sand source for the dune and beach repairs. Once the protective dunes system has been restored, additional measures will be implemented to restore traffic flow to the two-mile section that was damaged.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has identified repairs and mitigations to several structures that are part of Army Corps of Engineering projects.

Finally, the State and Army Corps are coordinating on breach closure projects at three Suffolk County parks.


Natural Infrastructure Construction and Planning Fund

The State welcomes the opportunity to work with the Corps in an analysis of how to increase storm resiliency in the areas affected by Superstorm Sandy. Based on the outcome of the analysis, the State will establish an $850M fund to deploy natural infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of future storms. The fund will help to support projects identified by the Corps of Engineers in consultation with the State of New York, and will be devoted to mitigation projects pursuant to the findings of the storm resiliency analysis. Projects must meet USACE requirements to qualify for funding under this program.

Along the Atlantic coast, New York Harbor and the Hudson River Estuary, the fund will likely help construct wetlands, marsh islands, oyster reefs, dunes and living coastlines to bolster protection of coastal communities and critical infrastructure against future storm surges and sea level rise. The State will look to fund projects in vulnerable areas such as Jamaica Bay, the inner portion of New York Harbor, and along the Hudson River. Along inland river systems such as those affected by Sandy, Irene and Lee, the fund will enhance existing or damaged wetlands systems to attenuate floodwaters. The fund will also likely help construct green infrastructure in urban areas to control storm-water runoff.

Projects will be funded either as stand-alone initiatives by the DEC or in conjunction with community plans approved by the Disaster Reconstruction Task Force. Priority will be given to those projects that provide significant protection to nearby communities, that are developed in coordination with community planners as part of a comprehensive resilience approach, that are strategically integrated with hard infrastructure to provide redundant protection or that provide significant collateral benefits (e.g., recreational, economic or environmental benefits).

With other state partners and the federal government, the State will also conduct a comprehensive assessment of the need, feasibility, costs and impacts of a storm surge barrier network for New York Harbor, as recommended by the 2100 Commission.