In response to Hurricane Sandy, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) was charged by Congress to study and propose approaches to managing coastal storm risk in the tidal Hudson River. Determining ways to protect communities from the impacts of coastal storms is critical to climate resilience in New York City and the Hudson Valley. However, the study did not require the consideration of risks from sea level rise or increasing intensity of precipitation within the study, leaving out two additional key considerations within planning for measures to protect shoreline communities.  

In 2018, the ACOE released 6 proposed alternatives with limited transparency and community engagement. The proposals ranged from taking no action to massive in-water storm barriers to a combination of multi-basin barriers and shore-based measures.

Though the tentatively selected plan (3B) does not include whole-harbor-enclosing gates, it consists of 12 storm gates across tributaries, shoreline-based measures, and extensive shoreline walls (40+ miles). As a result of the limited scope authorized by Congress, the complex and costly project does not consider sea level rise or severe precipitation resulting in a high-cost and half-baked shoreline resilience plan.

The comment period for the Draft Integrated Feasibility and Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement closed on March 31, 2023. Read Clearwater’s comments. The ACOE is currently reviewing comments and anticipates a late summer Decision Milestone – the determination if the current tentatively selected plan is officially selected.

Clearwater strongly believes climate resilience planning should center the communities the plans are meant to protect, as well as nature-based solutions. 

Stay up to date with the Army Corps Resilience Planning Process