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Living with the Bay provides a comprehensive suite of resiliency interventions for Nassau County communities surrounding the Mill River, which is an environmentally degraded north-south tributary flowing from Hempstead State Park into the South Shore of Long Island’s Back Bay. During Superstorm Sandy, Nassau County was hit with heavy rain and an 18 foot tidal surge. Fourteen people lost their lives and approximately 113,197 homes were destroyed. Public and private infrastructure along the river were damaged, including bridges, businesses, parks, roads, schools, and a wastewater treatment facility at the entrance of the Bay.
Over the last century, the Mill River watershed has become more populated with communities growing along each bank. As communities emerged, stormwater and sewer systems development. However, increasing populations and continued development has made the Mill River communities more susceptible to flooding from storm surge and rain events.
Along the Mill River, low-density suburban development has degraded natural buffers that once offered protection to neighborhoods and ecosystems alike. Without robust vegetated buffers along the river to absorb and store rainwater and coastal inundation, stormwater drained rapidly into the Mill River, backing up outflow pipes and causing severe inland flooding. Tidal surge also impacted the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plan at the mouth of Mill River, sending not just untreated stormwater, but also untreated sewage, into the Bay.
The purpose of the Slow Streams project is to increase community resilience by mitigating local risk from tidal and stormwater flooding, while incorporating environmental co-benefits such as water quality improvements, ecological restoration, and aquifer recharge. In addition, the project creates public access to the river, reconnecting communities with the natural environment and providing economic development opportunities. The Slow Streams project will leverage and build upon the federal and state funded Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant project, to improve the tributaries around the plant.
(Mill River, Rockville Centre)
This comprehensive strategy will be accomplished by addressing stormwater mitigation concerns and needs in the northern, middle, and southern sections of the Mill River:
o Greenway: Developing a “Greenway Corridor” linking communities along the Mill River, from Hempstead Lake State Park to Bay Park, through bike paths and trails, road crossings, and access to educational and recreational activities.
o Hempstead Lake Dam and Hempstead Lake State Park: Restoring and revitalizing the Hempstead Lake Dam to manage storm water flow and prevent flooding of the Sunrise Highway and Hempstead communities, in addition to improving public accessibility (including Americans with Disabilities Act approved paths) and recreational opportunities in the Park. Dam restoration and enhancement would create a second catch basin to provide additional stormwater runoff management and address predicted precipitation events and high tides.
o Northwest and Northeast Pond: Installing a floatables catcher and restoring the wetlands.
o Smith Pond: Improving water quality and utilizing as a storage space.
o Municipality projects: Incorporating projects from various municipalities along the Mill River, including drainage system improvements, and building underground cisterns and stormwater storage tanks.
o Check Valves: Installing check valves along the river to only allow fluid to flow in one direction and prevent tidal water from entering the stormwater system.
o Blue/Green Water Retention Park: Transforming an underutilized waterfront land into an accessible, floodable riverfront park to filter stormwater through reed/sand filters, and act as additional storage space for Mill River water overflow.
o Coastal Restoration: Employing numerous coastal restoration options South of the Bay Park Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), including road raising, seawalls, small sluice gates, and wetland restoration, to protect the municipalities in the Southern section of the Mill River from tidal inundation
Together, these concepts constitute the dynamic protection, ecological restoration, and social reactivation of the Mill River corridor.
Public Outreach and the Citizen's Advisory Committee (CAC)
Budget and Leveraging of Funds
The budget amount submitted in the overall design proposal to the RBD competition for the Living with the Bay project was $177,366,078. With a Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocation of $125,000,000, the State will explore additional funding options to fill any unmet needs and analyze the budget further, to implement a reduced scale project which still meets project objectives.
Pre Development: $8,750,000
Capital Construction Costs: $106,250,000
Program Delivery: $6,250,000
Total Allocated Budget: $125,000,000
The State is committed to the successful implementation of Living with the Bay, and will look at funding opportunities such as federal or private grants, and additional financing opportunities.
|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 4 2014||Quarter 4 2015|
|Environmental Review and Permitting: This Phase will include scoping for and preparation of an environmental impact statement, as well as the submittal of permit 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 EIS 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 Living with the Bay. It should be noted that the environmental review and permitting timeline is dependent on the permitting requirements of agencies with jurisdiction.||Quarter 4 2014||Quarter 1 2017|
|Design and Engineering: This phase will include all design and engineering work required for 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 2 2017||Quarter 1 2019|
|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 Living with the Bay. GOSR will evaluate a potential phased site development schedule for different project components.||Quarter 4 2019||Quarter 3 2020|
|Construction: This Phase will include all elements of construction related to Living with the Bay outlined in the Design and Engineering Phase. For Living Breakwaters, 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.||Quarter 4 2020||Quarter 2 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 2020||Quarter 3 2020|
The environmental documents for this project can be found here.