Coastal storms are increasing in frequency and intensity, bringing the impact of storm surge to our front doors. As climate change progresses, warmer oceans will power increasingly frequent and intense storms, with higher levels of flooding driven by sea level rise. By 2100, a 100-year storm (a storm with a one-percent chance of occurring in any given year) will cause flooding over 12 feet deep in parts of the Financial District and Seaport. This would be eight feet deeper than flooding that occurred during Hurricane Sandy.
Extreme precipitation is occurring more frequently, stressing our sewer system, flooding our streets, and polluting our waterways. Due to climate change, heavy rainfalls–one inch or more in a single day–will occur about 30 percent more often by the 2050s. This will put increasing stress on our sewer system, possibly causing wastewater backups and overflows into our rivers, basements, and streets.
Sea-level rise, based on current projections, will cause four to six feet of tidal flooding in parts of Lower Manhattan on a regular basis within this generation and put critical infrastructure and jobs–serving the entire city and region–at risk. This includes our subway and ferry network, our sewer system, 10 percent of the city’s jobs, and many historic, cultural, and community assets.
To respond to the challenge posed by these climate risks, we are advancing the Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan (the “Climate Resilience Plan”) to deeply examine options for protecting these two neighborhoods from climate hazards, and to design a project that can move forward into implementation.
The Climate Resilience Plan will include a comprehensive, long-term adaptation plan for the entire study area and a viable first-phase project to protect the area from climate risks. The process for developing this plan combines climate science, robust community engagement, engineering and technical analysis, urban planning and design, and implementation planning. The Climate Resilience Plan product will include a thorough examination of a range of flood protection options, including extending the shoreline into the East River to accommodate flood resilience infrastructure while responding to existing physical and regulatory constraints. By engaging a wide range of stakeholders in the process, the City is ensuring that the Climate Resilience Plan can move forward into implementation of the first-phase project, including an approach for permitting, funding and financing, and governance. This process also seeks to build a foundation for an intergenerational coalition to champion the project past 2021, and to advance implementation mechanisms that can serve to deliver projects in other areas of the city.
Sign up to stay updated! Our updates will keep you informed about upcoming events, latest progress, and other opportunities to get engaged.