Major Victory Clears the Path for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Construct 5.3 Mile Seawall to Protect Waterfront Communities in Staten Island
Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, United States Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, and United States Congressman Max Rose today announced that they have successfully brokered a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer and New York State to lock in funding for the construction of the Staten Island Multi-Use Elevated Promenade project.
“This innovative project will protect Staten Islanders from future devastating storms, enhance access to the shore, create thriving wetlands and bring peace of mind to the diverse communities that live along the coastline,” Governor Cuomo said. “Today’s agreement allows New York to move forward with this critical resiliency measure, which will ensure vulnerable communities have the resources they need to build back stronger after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and better prepare for the next 100-year storm.”
“This is a huge win for the people of Staten Island, who will be better protected from future storms,” said Mayor de Blasio. “It is critical that we invest in the resiliency of our city in the face of climate change. I want to thank the US Army Corps of Engineers, and my colleagues in Congress, Senator Schumer and Congressman Rose, as well as Governor Cuomo, for working together to make this happen for our constituents.”
Senator Charles Schumer said, “The signing of this PPA was the final key to locking in hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding for the desperately needed Staten Island Seawall project. Now that the bureaucratic hurdles have all been jumped, the Army Corps can finally move forward with designing and building a more resilient shoreline that will protect our Island, homeowners and local businesses against the kind of devastating flooding we saw during Superstorm Sandy.”
Congressman Max Rose said, “Getting the seawall built as quickly as possible is a top priority, which is why it was my first piece of legislation and I’ve been pushing the Corps and the Administration on this since my first day in office. This agreement will finally allow construction so Staten Island families can get some relief before the next storm season. But until we pass the easement into law and construction is complete, there’s more work to be done.”
The Staten Island Multi-Use Elevated Promenade project is comprised of a series of interconnected levees, berms, and seawalls stretching from Fort Wadsworth to Great Kills on Staten Island’s East Shore. This system, which is designed to withstand a 300-year storm, will protect against the growing threats of sea-level rise and storm surge and will dramatically strengthen the resilience of the area, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. According to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) study, the Staten Island Levee project is projected to reduce damages to the area by $30 million annually over a 50-year timeline.
USACE which, in cooperation with New York State, is responsible for managing the design and construction the project, has made significant progress in recent years by completing a feasibility study, conducting geotech and groundwater monitoring, and starting final project design. USACE plans to break ground on the project in 2019 and expects for full completion in 2022.
In addition to the $400 million in federal funds allocated to the project, New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation is contributing $151M and New York City is contributing $65 in City Capital funds.
Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said, “This project is Staten Island’s most important infrastructure effort, and this collaborative, all-hands-on-deck approach by every level of government is heartening and must continue until the job is complete.”
Senator Andrew J. Lanza said, “Good news for Staten Island’s East Shore! Bipartisanship and common sense have delivered assurances that the transformative seawall project will be a reality. When I first spoke with Governor Cuomo regarding the importance of this project, he immediately understood the need and supported the allocation of $150 million towards the project. After decades of talk regarding a seawall, the safety and security it will bring is now within sight. The funding has been secured and the plans are in place. I applaud our City, State, and Federal officials for reaching today’s agreement.”
Senator Diane Savino said, “Ensuring the seawall is built quickly and effectively is a top priority for all involved. We must ensure that we make every effort to mitigate any future damage to the homes of residents of Staten Island’s East Shore in future storm seasons.”
Assemblyman Michael Cusick said, “Our communities are still dealing with the effects of destructive damage of Superstorm Sandy and the rise in flood insurance. We cannot afford to fall behind on preparation for potential future disasters. I am pleased with how quickly the project is coming along and I applaud the recent agreement with the USACE.”
Assemblyman Charles Fall said, “I am pleased to stand with Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and Congressman Rose on the proposed multi-use elevated sea wall on Staten Island’s East Shore. This structure will protect areas of human habitation, conservation and leisure activities from the unpredictable weather due to climate change.”
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “These federal and city funds added to the $150 million we secured in the 2017-2018 State Budget complete the funding needed for the project to move forward. After decades of fear and waiting, the people of Staten Island’s shoreline communities will soon be receiving the protection they need and deserve. This is a true testament to all three levels of government working together.”