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Living with the Bay

LWTB Resiliency Book

Living with the Bay

Based in Nassau County, Long Island, the $125 million Living with the Bay project aims to increase the resiliency of communities along the Mill River and around the South Shore’s bays by mitigating damage from storm surges; managing stormwater to mitigate damages from common rain events; improving habitat and water quality; and increasing access to the Mill River through both educational and increased recreational opportunities. These activities will fulfill the four core principals of the Rebuild by Design Grant:
LWTB Core Principals
1. Flood defense
2. Ecological restoration
3. Access and urban quality
4. Social resiliency
With these Core Principals in mind and in collaboration with its Citizen’s Advisory Committee, Technical Advisory Committee, Local Governments, non-profits, residents, and other stakeholders, GOSR has selected seven infrastructure projects and two social resiliency partners that comprise the Living with the Bay Project.  The infrastructure projects stretch from the northernmost reaches of the Mill River at Hempstead Lake State Park and extend south to Bay Park at the mouth of Hewlett Bay and will be constructed in collaboration with Nassau County, Town of Hempstead, the Village of Rockville Centre, and East Rockaway School District.  GOSR will be completing three Environmental Assessments as part of the permitting and approval of the projects and the complete project portfolio is provided below along with the corresponding EA.
LWTB Project Portfolio
1. Environmental Assessment 1
a. Hempstead Lake State Park Improvements
2. Environmental Assessment 2
a. Long Beach Water Pollution Control Plant Consolidation Project
3. Environmental Assessment 3
a. Smith Pond Improvements
b. East Rockaway High School Hardening
c. Lister Park Improvements
d. East Boulevard/West Boulevard
e. Mill River Greenway
In addition, GOSR is collaborating with Hofstra University and Seatuck on a range of activities including educational programs, work force development, and wildlife surveys as part of the social resiliency portion of Living with the Bay.
A detailed description of each of the Living with the Bay Projects is included below.

LWTB Project Descriptions

Hempstead Lake State Park Improvements
The Hempstead Lake State Park Project will make improvements to public lands managed by the State of New York Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). The Proposed Project consists of four (4) components intended to improve stormwater management, enhance natural ecosystems by improving water quality, provide connectivity among diverse populations, enhance safety, and promote education programs at the Park. 
The Proposed Activity components are as follows: 
Repair and replacement of dams, restoration of gatehouses, and installation of bridges; 
Installation of floatables and sediment controls within Northern Ponds;
Establishment of environmental education and resiliency center; and 
Greenway alignment and improvements to trails, gateways, and waterfront access.  
Status: in construction as of April 2020
Click thumbnails to enlarge
Hempstead Lake Park 1   Hempstead Lake Park 2   Hempstead Lake Park Education Center 1   Hempstead Lake Park Education Center 2
Smith Pond Drainage Improvements
The Smith Pond Project located in Rockville Centre will improve water quality, enhance recreation, restore the ecological system to promote native aquatic species, and expand the hydraulic surge capacity of the pond.
Project elements include:
the removal of invasive species and replacement with native plants on the shores of the pond;
improvements to existing pathways and overlooks;
connection to the Mill River Greenway;
adding a fish ladder;
adding floodwalls to the eastern and western shores of the pond;
making improvements to the existing weir
and stormwater improvements to an adjacent parking lot.
Status: in construction as of December 2020
Click thumbnails to enlarge
Smith Pond photo 1    Smith Pond photo 2    Smith Pond Fish Ladder    Smith Pond North Pathway    Smith Pond Weir
East Rockaway High School Hardening
The East Rockaway High School Project will make improvements at a public high school in East Rockaway by:
installing a bulkhead near the school’s football field to reduce erosion and protect against storm surge
facilitate the raising of the athletic fields to provide better stormwater management
install drainage improvements to the parking areas for better stormwater management and improved water quality
and install a full facility emergency generator to support the school during power disruptions. 
Status: substantially complete as of August 27, 2021
Click thumbnails to enlarge
East Rockaway High School Bulkhead Backfill    East Rockaway High School Electric Generator    East Rockaway High School Rain Garden
The East and West Boulevard Project
The East and West Boulevard Project, located in Bay Park, will take steps to mitigate the effects of tidal inundation during storm events.   This area is particularly prone to flooding, which can occur even during non-storm events because of high tides or during storm events when high tides fill the stormwater system and prevent the evacuation of stormwater from the project area.  The project will prevent tidal waters from entering the stormwater system but allow stormwater to exit the system during low tides through the installation of check valves and improvements to the existing drainage system.  The project will also install bioswales and porous pavement to treat stormwater before it enters the bay, thereby improving water quality in the bay.

Status:  in construction spring 2022
East and West Boulevard Project photo 1    East and West Boulevard Project photo 2    East and West Boulevard Project photo 3
Lister Park
The Lister Park Project, located in Rockville Centre, will implement a suite of resiliency, water quality, and drainage improvements to an area along the Mill River composed of the existing Village of Rockville Centre’s Department of Public Works storage yard and several public parks known as Bligh Field, Centennial Field, Lister Park, and Tighe Field.
The improvements will include:
a living shoreline to combat erosion and filter urban and stormwater runoff entering the Mill River
bioretention basins and drainage improvements to improve stormwater management and treatment
flood protection improvements to protect surrounding residential areas (berm and bioretention basins)
greenway connections
and an improved overlook to connect residents to the Mill River.
Status: in construction as of December 2020
Click thumbnails to enlarge
Lister Park photo 1    Lister Park photo 2    Lister Park photo 3
Greenway Network
The Greenway Project will create greenways connecting communities with sections of the project area and focus areas along the Mill River, starting near Hempstead High School north of Hempstead Lake State Park, through Hempstead Lake State Park, south to Smith Pond and Lister Park, and continue south terminating at Bay Park.
The Greenway will include educational signage, benches, lighting, pollinator gardens, ADA compliance, and other amenities along the path.
Status: in construction as of December 2020
Click thumbnails to enlarge
Greenway network project photo 1    Greenway network project photo 2    Greenway network project photo 3    Greenway network project nothern gateway    Greenway network project living shoreline of Lister   
Long Beach Water Pollution Control Plant Consolidation Project
The Long Beach Water Pollution Control Plan Consolidation Project (WPCP) will include the following components: (1) conversion of the Long Beach WPCP’s headworks and influent pump to a diversion pump station; (2) installation of a 24-inch force main from the diversion pump station to the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant (STP); and (3) connection from the force main to the Bay Park STP's 64-inch influent header.
The force main installation will require a combination of construction techniques, including traditional cut-and-cover methods that entail trenching (on the landside), as well as a trenchless method that utilizes horizontal direction drilling (HDD). The alignment will be primarily located within Nassau County and City of Long Beach municipal properties and the existing easement for the existing Bay Park STP discharge outfall, which will remain in place.
This project will both harden the WPCP at Long Beach and reduce effluent carried by storm surge during extreme weather events as well as reduce nitrogen input into Hewlett Bay contributing to natural restoration of the marsh islands over time.
Status: in construction spring 2022

Social Resiliency Programs: LWTB has worked with relevant community organizations and educational institutions to develop public education programs. Specifically, LWTB has partnered with Hofstra University on several programs to promote social resiliency including:

Summer Science Research Program for High School Students
K-12 Education Programs related to the Mill River
Sustainability Certificate Program for Local Leaders and Policy Makers
Workforce Development and job training in collaboration with BOCES.
Educational Signage for the Greenway

In Addition, LWTB has also partnered with Seatuck Environmental Association on several fish and avian surveys throughout the LWTB project area and educational programs such as “A Day in the Life of the Mill River”.








Construction — Hempstead Lake State Park


Construction — Smith Pond Drainage Improvements


Construction— East Rockaway High School Hardening


Construction— Lister Park


Construction— Long Beach Extension


Construction— Greenway Network


Construction— E/W Blvd.


Social Resilience Program


Program Delivery


Total Allocated Budget




Study, Research Planning: This Phase will outline all additional studies, research and planning needed prior to the design and engineering phase. As necessary, this phase will be incorporated into the Environmental Review and Permitting stage as well as the Engineering Phase. Quarter 1 2014 Quarter 2 2017
Preliminary Environmental Scope Development: This phase will be an additional step for the Living with the Bay Project. The complexity of the project as currently envisioned, as well as the size of the potential study area, will require careful consideration prior to formally commencing the Environmental Review and Permitting Stage. At the same time, given the need for an expedient schedule, this preliminary phase will allow certain environmental tasks to be performed in anticipation of the formal review.  Concurrent with the study, research and planning phase, the State will conduct preliminary environmental scoping activities. This additional planning and scope development is essential to planning a cogent and implementable project to meet the objectives of Rebuild by Design. Quarter 4 2014 Quarter 2 2018
Environmental Review and Permitting: This Phase will include scoping for and preparation of an environmental review consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as the submittal of permits applications to the appropriate governmental agencies. This Phase will include significant opportunities for public review and comment, as well as intergovernmental consultation.  Additionally, as required by State and federal law, the environmental review will evaluate alternatives to the proposed project. This timeline is meant to represent an overview of the expected Environmental Review Process for all aspects of the Living with the Bay Project. It should be noted that the environmental review and permitting timeline is dependent on the permitting requirements of agencies with jurisdiction, including the United States Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA-NMFS, USFWS and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Quarter 1 2017 Quarter 4 2020
Design and Engineering: This phase will include all design and engineering work required for the Living with the Bay culminating with complete construction specs. Depending on the progress and outcome of the Environmental Review and Permitting process, this process will be able to run concurrently for some components of the project. This phase will include any and all necessary procurement and contracting as appropriate. Quarter 1 2017 Quarter 4 2020
Site Development: This Phase will include all necessary elements for site development from the Design and Engineering Phase that will prepare for the construction phase of the Living with the Bay project. GOSR will evaluate a potential phased site development schedule for different project components (e.g., upland components and in-water components). Quarter 2 2020 Quarter 2 2021
Construction: This Phase will include all elements of construction related to the Living with the Bay project outlined in the Design and Engineering Phase. For the Living with the Bay project, the timeline is extended to reflect that the nature of the project will only allow for construction in specific building seasons. GOSR will evaluate a potential phase construction schedule for different project components (e.g., upland components and in-water components). Quarter 2 2020 Quarter 3 2022
Closeout: This phase will include the closeout of the entire project, including but not limited to: final site visits and review, release of final contingency payments and all applicable CBDG-DR construction closeout requirements. Quarter 3 2022 Quarter 4 2022

To view this project's environmental documents, click here.