Campaigns & Cases > Protect River Ecology > Storm Surge Barriers

Storm Surge Barriers

We need comprehensive, community-driven flood protection plans. We need solutions that work with nature and protect our living rivers. We do NOT need giant storm surge gates across the waters feeding New York Harbor.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a $52.6 billion suite of large-scale construction projects intended to protect the New York – New Jersey region against flood damage from coastal storm surges.

Clearly, flood protection is an urgent matter for communities along the coast. Storm surges are just one flooding threat; we also need to plan for increasing sea level rise, more intense downpours, and rising groundwater. The Army Corps’ preferred solution – building giant gates across waterways that feed New York Harbor – is too short-sighted, too limited in scope, and too damaging to the natural environment. Our region needs a more well-rounded plan.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Gov. Hochul and Gov. Murphy: We need smarter flood protection plans – Revamp the Army Corps’ proposal

Riverkeeper and partner groups in the region are demanding a more rational, comprehensive and environmentally sound approach. We need to restore life to our rivers, not choke them off with gates. We want a more locally driven plan – in partnership with the Corps, but powered by local knowledge and expertise. New York City, New York State and New Jersey, all pursuing resilience strategies of their own, shouldn’t just accept and comment on the Corps’ plan. They should help make the plan, bringing the voices from all the impacted communities into the conversation.

In 2018, Riverkeeper raised an alarm over the more drastic, potentially catastrophic options considered by the Corps: building barriers across the mouth of the Hudson where it meets the ocean. Together we’ve achieved legislation and public awareness to foster better, holistic strategies. We’ve demanded steps to engage the most vulnerable and least powerful communities. Together, we need to move forward as a region and put these strategies to work.

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