GOSR Joins Governor Cuomo to Announce $151 Million Investment to Further Improve Resiliency of Staten Island
On Tuesday, May 30, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), Lisa Bova-Hiatt, joined Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and other public officials to announce the State’s $151 million investment to further enhance the resiliency of Staten Island’s east shore through the development of an extensive sea wall.
The project, which aims to build a multi-use elevated promenade, will also improve waterfront access for nearby communities and serves as the State’s latest effort to make Staten Island stronger and better prepared, following the severe impacts of Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012. As one of the most vulnerable and heavily-affected areas of New York City, Staten Island saw approximately 16 percent of its population (75,651 residents) affected by flooding during that unprecedented extreme weather event.
The newest undertaking comes alongside to a number of other resiliency initiatives that have been spearheaded by GOSR over the last several years, with particular emphasis on the $123 investment made through the voluntary NY Rising Buyout Program in the neighborhood of Oakwood Beach. Through that program, which has become a model for similar strategic retreat endeavors, the State has purchased 300 storm-damaged homes to be demolished and permanently returned to nature, thereby allowing the vacant parcels to serve as natural coastal buffers to surrounding areas.
As the new seven-mile long seawall is constructed from Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach, it will further reinforce the State’s efforts to protect Staten Island residents from severe coastal flooding events, while creating new wetland habitats and recreational amenities, including a promenade, biking and walking pathways and easy access to public beaches.
"This innovative project takes into account the diverse needs of the affected communities, protecting against future devastating weather events, enhancing access to the shore, creating vibrant, thriving wetlands and bringing peace of mind to those living along the Staten Island coastline," said Governor Cuomo. "New York will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable communities are equipped with resources to protect against extreme weather while incorporating community input and building for future growth."
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos, Congressmember Dan Donovan, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, Senator Andrew J. Lanza, Senator Diane J. Savino, Assemblymember Michael Cusick and Assemblymember Matthew J. Titone were also in attendance at the announcement.
“In the more than four years since Sandy’s devastating impact, the State has demonstrated clear and consistent leadership in paving the way for a stronger and more resilient New York,” said Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “This project is the latest example of how, from the highest levels of State government, we are responding to the needs of residents in storm-damaged communities, including on the East Shore of Staten Island. We are proud that this seawall will only serve to fortify so many of our existing programs and efforts, as we continue to commit ourselves to helping Staten Island realize a better tomorrow.”
To ensure that the transformative project meets the unique needs of the community, DEC will hold a series of interactive community-based design forums, enabling local residents to offer direct input into the final design of the seawall promenade and participate in the development of the project. New York will host a project Web site and keep the public closely informed through frequent updates.
A final design will be complete in the winter of 2018. Construction is slated to begin in 2019 and be completed in 2022.
Read the complete press release here.
Watch the video here.
Monday, June 5, 2017