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Rising Sea Levels in New York City

Presentation to the New York City Council

Erin Russ

on 6 December 2012

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Transcript of Rising Sea Levels in New York City

On Behalf of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

Recommendations to the New York City Council Presented by
Konstantine Kastens, Judy Kpordotsi, Erin Russ, and Brian Tsai Background and Problem Proposed Alternatives Recommendations Rising Sea Levels About New York City Current Preparedness Criteria Matrix Population: 8,244,910 - One of world's most populated urban areas

At Risk: 423,000 New York City residents, 186,000 homes and 62,000 acres of land.

Global financial, commerce and diplomatic center. Economic Efficiency Infrastructural Feasibility Ecosystem Impact Geographic Feasibility Long-Term Sustainability Regional Cooperation Surge Protection Barrier Levee/Seawall Elevated Development Floodable Development Wetland Conservation
Surrounding sea levels are rising at a rate of 3 to 4 times greater than the global average.

Expected to rise between 7-29 inches in the next 50 years.

Flood-risk zones projected to expand by 34% with 4 feet sea level increase Water damages caused by Hurricane Sandy amounted to nearly $42 billion.

Office of Emergency Management, created in 1996. Regarded as inadequate.

Under current storm trends, a third of the city remains susceptible to massive flooding within an hour. Our Solution combines several alternatives:
Wetland Expansion Our Considerations:
Existing infrastructure
Unintended Consequences
Long-term sustainability Are benefits proportionately greater than or equal to associated costs?

Are existing resources optimally utilized?

Longevity? Low Maintenance? How does it fit within current infrastructure - building and housing facilities, roads, bridges, public transportation, sewage systems, water supply, waste management, telecommunications, utility systems?

Are basic public services obstructed?

Is population density accounted for? What are the ecological effects?

- Wildlife sustainability?

- Sedimentation?

- Wetland conservation?

- Water salinity?

- Coastal erosion?

Might environmental conditions improve? Do New York City's geographic features - location, land, water - help or hinder the proposal?

Is the New York Harbor adequately protected?

Hudson River? East River? Long Island? Staten Island? Does the solution remain durable and intact over an extended period of time, comparatively?

If at all, to what degree is routine maintenance attention required?

Following wear and usage, how responsive does it remain to further activity? Does it allow collaboration on a federal, state and local scale?

Is it accommodative to New York City's shared port authority with New Jersey?

Is inter-regional communication, oversight, and decision-making authority feasible? Options for Adaptation to Climate Change in New York City •Opened and closed during a major storm or hurricane.
•Model: Maeslant and Thames Barriers
•Pro: Protects large area
•Con: Expensive •Embankment
•Model: San Francisco’s Embarcadero and New Orleans
•Pro: Coastal defense
•Con: Expensive and may disrupt ecosystem • Raising the height of land or existing development

• Model: New Orleans

• Pro: Protects infrastructure

• Con: Short-term solution •Infrastructure captures water and releases when waters recede
•Model: Netherlands
•Pro: Sustainability
•Con: Floodwater may be hazardous •Flood Storage and controls erosion
•Model: Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
•Pro: Environmentally Safe
•Con: Requires space and time to grow.
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