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Riverkeeper statement regarding Army Corps’ postponement of storm surge barriers feasibility study

On Friday, February 21, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the indefinite postponement of the New York New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. It, along with several other Corps CSRM feasibility studies across the nation, did not receive federal appropriation funding as announced in the Army Corps Fiscal Year 2020 Work Plan.

This announcement effectively ends the potential for New York Harbor-wide storm barriers, a positive development for the Hudson River, the communities along it and the species for which it provides habitat

However, Riverkeeper remains concerned that the federal government did not find a resiliency plan for the region important enough to fund in the next fiscal year. The Army Corps’ feasibility study was deeply flawed because it lacked full incorporation of sea level rise and had an incomplete assessment of threats to the environment and ecosystems services. As a result, we have been working closely with allies, elected officials, and the Corps to fix this study. The federal government’s decision halts this study and puts nothing in its place. It is well past time for the federal government and the state governments of New York and New Jersey to develop a plan for resiliency that fully integrates sea level rise, studies and mitigates against impacts to the environment and ecosystem services, and provides robust community education and engagement opportunities to allow local communities a chance to meaningfully shape protective measures. 

It’s more important than ever for Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State, through the Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies, to fulfill their role as climate leaders, working together with communities to address the region’s resiliency, and protect all New Yorkers from threats from sea level rise, climate change and storm surge. 

More information:

Media contacts:

Cliff Weathers
Communications Director, Riverkeeper
914-478-4501, ext. 239; [email protected]

Leah Rae
Media Specialist, Riverkeeper
914-478-4501, ext. 238; [email protected]

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