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Coastal Storm Risk Management Projects

In New York State, Coastal Storm Risk Reduction Projects are constructed through a three-way partnership. The US Army Corps of Engineers is the federal partner, the Department Of Environmental Conservation is known as the "Non-Federal Sponsor" and the local municipality is the project's Local Sponsor. These projects are typically cost shared between the three parties (Federal, State, and local), but under certain circumstances the Federal government may undertake these projects at a 100% Federal expense.

The DEC works with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Local Sponsor to bring these projects from the study phase through construction to completion. As the Non-Federal Sponsor, DEC is tasked with responsibilities such as reviewing the scope of work, plans, environmental reports, coordinating with the Local Sponsor, interfacing with the public and providing the necessary real estate for project construction. These responsibilities vary by project and are laid out in agreements signed before the beginning of each phase of the project.

Below is a summary of one of the projects DEC is currently involved in:

South Shore Staten Island Coastal Storm Risk Management Project

South Shore Staten Island Coastal Storm Risk Management Project

Image provided by USACE

The goal of this project is to reduce the risk of damages from coastal flooding and flood damage from rainfall, as well as managing risk to local residents' life and safety.

Project Elements

The project consists of three typical structures, with a length of ~5.5 miles, and a top elevation of +20.5 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929.

  • Reaches A-1 and A-2: Earthen Levee (~3,400 ft.) with a crest width that ranges from 10 - 15 feet. The Levee ties into high ground northwest of Hylan Boulevard.
  • Reach A-3: Vertical Floodwall (~1,800 ft.) that is pile supported with a T-shaped concrete floodwall.
  • Reach A-4: Buried Seawall (~23,700 ft.) with a 10 - 18 ft. wide crest. The seaward and landward faces of the above ground portions of the Seawall will be covered with soil and planted with native beach vegetation. It will tie-in to high ground near Fort Wadsworth.
    • A promenade will be constructed atop the entire length of the Buried Seawall extending from Oakwood Beach through Miller Field and ending near Fort Wadsworth (~4.5 miles), as shown in the renderings below.

Road raising and interior drainage features will be constructed throughout the project to provide tie-ins to high ground and to allow proper drainage for stormwater. A new tidal wetland will be constructed in the Oakwood Beach area seaward of the Buried Seawall.

Image of the Existing Promenade, and the new Elevated PromenadeExisting boardwalk, and new boardwalk
Images provided by USACE


The project is in the design phase. The first step is to gather necessary field data to develop a properly engineered design of the work that will be completed. Tasks include survey mapping, which is already underway, and soil borings, which will start in early fall 2017. The design phase will continue through mid-2019. The project will be constructed in multiple contracts, with the first contract estimated to be awarded in fall 2019 by the Army Corps of Engineers.