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Sea Level Rise Task Force

Assessing Risks and Responses for New York

The Sea Level Rise Task Force was created in 2007 by the New York State Legislature, to assess impacts to the state's coastlines from rising seas and recommend protective and adaptive measures. The task force held its first meeting on June 27, 2008 and delivered its final report to the Legislature on December 31, 2010.

For further information and to view the final report, please go to the link on the left entitled "Sea Level Rise Task Force Report."

The Work of the Task Force

The task force was charged with applying the best available science to evaluate ways to

  • Protect New York's remaining coastal ecosystems and natural habitats, and
  • Increase coastal community resilience in the face of sea level rise.

The geographic scope of the task force report included the five boroughs of New York City and the counties of Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk. The tidal waters of the Hudson River to the Federal Dam at Troy also were included because of the potential risks from rising waters to Hudson River ecosystems, drinking water supplies and infrastructure.

Task Force Membership

The task force was composed of staff from state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit groups and private citizens appointed by members of the Legislature. The Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation serves as chair of the task force.

Task Force Report

Contents of the Sea Level Rise Task Force's Report to the Legislature, delivered on December 31, 2010:

  1. An assessment of anticipated impacts related to sea level rise.
  2. Recommendations to provide more protective standards/enforcement for
    1. Coastal development;
    2. Wetlands protection;
    3. Shoreline armoring; and
    4. Post-storm recovery.
  3. Recommendations for adaptive measures to
    1. Protect and connect terrestrial and aquatic habitats to allow species to migrate with changing temperatures and conditions;
    2. Protect and restore habitat to maintain natural communities and protect ecological services they provide, e.g., flood control, clean water;
    3. Identify and monitor early effects of climate change on animals, plants, etc.;
    4. Integrate climate change adaptation strategies into state environmental plans.
  4. Recommendations to amend local/state regulations or statutes to respond to climate change.

More about Sea Level Rise Task Force: