Building resiliency together

PROGRESS

BY DANIEL SQUADRON  |  The experience of Hurricane Sandy, the damage it caused and the vulnerability it showed, makes clear that there’s a lot of work to do to protect our waterfront communities from future disasters.

Community involvement is a big part of pushing to ensure that the efforts make sense, both for resiliency and for the community over all. And the community’s involvement has already had concrete impacts.

On the Lower East Side — after engagement with the community and advocacy groups like LES Ready! — $335 million has been committed for the development of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project. This project aims to protect parts of the Lower East Side from storms, while also connecting the community to recreational spaces. This is an opportunity to coordinate this needed resiliency funding with the $16 million I secured with Senator Schumer for the redevelopment of Pier 42 into a world-class waterfront park.

We can push this park forward even further by aligning this resiliency project’s goals with our long-term effort to get the park built. Community involvement is key to this effort.     

In Lower Manhattan, we got a commitment of $14.75 million for Battery Park flood-protection design and implementation, and for comprehensive flood-protection planning below Montgomery St. and around the tip of Lower Manhattan to the West Side. We were only successful because of a collaborative effort, including elected officials, community boards, advocacy groups like the Downtown Alliance business improvement district and empowered residents.

In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency committed $3 billion to the city to repair the New York City Housing Authority developments damaged by Sandy. The NYCHA community was engaged on resiliency before this commitment, and even-further engagement will help ensure these funds have a big impact.

When everyday citizens come together to keep our community protected, we have a much better chance to make change. We can continue to protect ourselves and build our community — all at once.

Squadron is state senator, 26th District (Lower Manhattan, Greenpoint, DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Governors Island)

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