Yesterday Mayor Bloomberg visited three areas hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy, holding progress-report press conferences at the dune fortification at Crescent Beach, Staten Island; the bulkhead repairs on Jamaica Bay on the Rockaway Peninsula; and finally the Coney Island Creek Wetlands and Tidal Barrier, where the city is planning a new levee and tidal barrier system at the mouth of Coney Creek, where most of the flooding in the area originated. Here's video of Bloomberg's address from Coney Island:
The projects Bloomberg toured yesterday are part of a $20 billion "resiliency" plan to protect the city from future hurricanes, superstorms, and rising sea levels. "All are designed to adapt New York to the climate change that scientists tell us are already taking place," Bloomberg said yesterday. According to the city, the Coney Island project breaks down thus:
The Coney Island area saw 50,000 residents and 1,000 businesses in impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The majority of the flooding in Coney Island and neighboring Gravesend did not come from the ocean, but instead was “backdoor” flooding from Coney Island Creek. As this is some of the lowest-lying land in Southern Brooklyn, this type of flooding will continue to pose a significant risk to the Coney Island community unless creek waters and surge during a storm are managed
A multi-layered and comprehensive framework for resiliency on Coney Island Creek that can not only reduce risk, but can transform this part of Southern Brooklyn.
The proposal for Coney Creek includes:
Coastal Protection: The installation of a new levee and tidal barrier system at the mouth of the creek to manage the flow of water during a similar future coastal storm. As a first phase, the City intends to install shoreline protection along the creek’s lowest lying edges to provide interim protection in advance of a larger investment.
Stormwater Management: By incorporating operational controls to the City’s stormwater management system, this system would allow the creek to absorb stormwater runoff and improve drainage to protect adjacent neighborhoods and infrastructure during coastal storms or extreme precipitation events.
Parks: By combining Calvert Vaux and Kaiser parks around a renewed and restored wetland and lake complex, this system can bring together two neighborhoods historically separated by Coney Island Creek and achieve better waterfront access and a new destination park in Southern Brooklyn.
Photographer Tod Seelie took shots of the dunes and area around the creek; the last image in the gallery is a rendering of the city's plan for the area.