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Intro 1620 - A Comprehensive 5 Borough Coastal Resiliency Plan

Updated: Sep 29


In an op-ed earlier this summer, NYC council members Constantinides and Brannan outlined why they introduced legislation last year requiring a five-borough resiliency plan “that will ensure every neighborhood from Riverdale to Rockaway is protected from rising sea levels, violent weather and coastal erosion brought about by climate change.”

As noted in a recent press release on council member Constantinides' website, “This legislation comes amid dire warnings from the New York City Panel on Climate Change, which noted coastlines in parts of Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx are most at risk of flooding. An estimated 500,000 New Yorkers are constantly at risk of climbing sea levels, which are on pace to rise one foot by 2050. NYC has more than 500 miles of coastline, and it’s time to coordinate our efforts to protect all of NYC.”

Passing a five-borough resiliency plan would lay the foundation for creating good paying jobs for New Yorkers while preparing our city for the future.

Members of the Rise to Resilience Coalition submitted a set of recommendations for Intro 1620 back in October 2019. The Coalition plans to issue a new set of recommendations later this month to ensure that the bill contains specific social, environmental, and climate justice directives and metrics for the plan.

The proposed bill is vitally important as COVID related budget cuts at the State level have caused the Restore Mother Nature Bond Act to be postponed, and late last year the Federal Army Corps NY/NJ Storm Barriers Study was cancelled by the Trump administration, so NYC is really on it’s own at the moment in terms of a holistic, coastal resiliency plan that addresses all five boroughs and focuses on social, environmental, and climate justice goals.

While some coastal resilience initiatives have been underway in NYC since hurricane Sandy, there hasn't been a comprehensive five borough plan in place to protect all communities and our entire coastline from what we know lies just ahead and already see taking place in many neighborhoods: sunny day flooding during high tides, severe flooding in our streets and homes during heavy rain events, an increase in combined sewer overflow events in our local waterways... all related to climate change.

Some of NYC's large scale coastal resilience plans currently in early stages of development (click here to see the 2019 Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study produced by NYC EDC) are comprehensive, multi-million dollar, multi-year plans that are considered by some to be on the forefront of coastal resiliency and design but they certainly don’t protect all New Yorkers in every Borough.

Intro 1620 aims to ensure that NYC has a comprehensive, holistic plan to protect all New Yorkers in every vulnerable neighborhood throughout the city. SWIM and our partners will continue to support the passage of Intro 1620 and ensure that it is a just and equitable plan.

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SWIM Coalition is sponsored by the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District and Riverkeeper, Inc. Your donations to SWIM's work are tax deductible under the IRS code170(c)3. 


Donations to SWIM are managed by Riverkeeper, Inc.