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For Release: Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grants Will Assist Piermont, Catskill and Stony Point with Planning for Sea-Level Rise, Storm Surge, and Flooding

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program in partnership with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), has awarded three grants totaling $170,000 for organization and implementation of collaborative local task forces in communities bordering tidally influenced shoreline of the Hudson River Estuary, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The purpose of these grants is to assist Hudson River shoreline communities in preparing for sea-level rise, storm surge and waterfront flooding, and to facilitate technical assistance from appropriate state agencies.

"The Hudson River Estuary Program is helping communities enjoy, protect and revitalize the Hudson River and its Valley," said Commissioner Martens. "These grants will assist three communities in planning for the future in a time of changing climate and rising sea levels on the Hudson. Through this partnership project, DEC's Estuary Program will assist local officials in developing and implementing cleaner and greener communities. Governor Cuomo's NYS 2100 Commission continues to work to improve the resilience and strength of the state's infrastructure in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies and programs like these grants help further that goal."

"NEIWPCC is pleased to be able to support Hudson River Estuary communities in undertaking this very important work," said Ron Poltak, NEIWPCC Executive Director. "Recent severe storms have shown us that the threat of an ever-changing climate is real and it is essential that communities prepare themselves for future events."

Scientific evidence demonstrates that the earth's temperature is rising, and its climate is changing as a result. Scientists have already documented changes in local climate in the Northeast, New York, and the Hudson Valley that they expect will continue in coming decades. Recent storms Irene, Lee and Sandy have clearly highlighted the region's vulnerability to flooding. This funding will help achieve goals of the 2010-2014 Hudson River Action Agenda to help waterfront communities prepare for flooding from sea-level rise and stronger storms.

These projects will help implement Governor Cuomo's climate change priorities. These recommendations, designed to make New York more resilient to strong storms and climate change, emphasize strengthening existing infrastructure, rebuilding smarter, encouraging the use of green and natural infrastructure, promoting integrated planning and decision-making and enhancing institutional coordination.

Grants will be awarded to the following organizations and communities to convene community leaders and shoreline property owners in a planning process designed to identify the risks to infrastructure and property from sea level rise and flooding. The projects will also establish a vision for the future which takes into account predicted flooding. Each project will evaluate the feasibility and priorities of possible solutions and recommend steps the community can take.

Each of the three communities undertaking this process has experienced significant waterfront and shoreline damage from recent storms and is prepared to think carefully about options for the future. Each is partnering with an organization which has experience in planning for flooding and sea level rise. Sea level has risen six inches, on average, in the Hudson since the 1960's, creating a risk to property, natural resources and the economy. Grants are awarded to:

  • Scenic Hudson and the Village of Piermont: $60,000
  • Scenic Hudson and the Village of Catskill: $60,000
  • Town of Stony Point and the Turner Miller Group and Great Ecology: $50,000

The Hudson River Estuary Program is a project of the NYS Environmental Protection Fund Helping people enjoy, protect and revitalize the Hudson River and its Valley. For more information visit Hudson River Estuary Program web page.

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