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For Release: Friday, May 31, 2019

DEC Announces $250,000 in Awards to Improve Resiliency of Kingston and Piermont Riverfronts

Grants Support State's Efforts to Expand Access to Recreation and Encourage New Yorkers to Get Outside

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program, in partnership with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), today awarded contracts to create design and engineering plans for climate resilient and connected waterfront places in the city of Kingston and village of Piermont. Each of these communities participated in the Climate-Adaptive Design Studio, a program that links Cornell University graduate and undergraduate students in landscape architecture with flood-prone Hudson Riverfront communities to create design concepts that incorporate projections for sea-level rise and extreme weather. The designs encourage water-dependent use of shoreline property, provide public access to waterfronts, and use nature-based solutions for stormwater management and shoreline stability.

"The grant awards announced today will help these Hudson River communities bolster their resilience by designing innovative projects that maintain and enhance the ability of natural systems to reduce flood-risk and storm surge," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "In the face of increasing flood risks and severe weather events, New York State is investing in our communities to preserve our natural resources and strengthen their ability to withstand flooding."

A $125,000 contract was awarded to Supermass Studio for a Kingston Point climate-adaptive design that will sustain and enhance native tidal wetlands while integrating public access corridors and recreational opportunities. The project will evaluate sea-level rise scenarios at the point and assess its implications for Kingston. Key findings and potential climate-adaptation measures along with graphic materials and exhibits will be shared with the community to promote outreach, education, and awareness. Once a demonstration project is selected, Supermass Studio will provide the necessary design, engineering, and permitting documentation for the city of Kingston to finalize the plans.

A $125,000 contract was awarded to Henningson, Durham and Richardson Architecture and Engineering, P.C. (HDR) for a Piermont living shoreline project. The project incorporates elements of five resiliency designs created during the 2018 Climate-Adaptive Design Studio, and will align with Piermont's existing Waterfront Resiliency Program and Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP). The proposed living shoreline project will incorporate vegetation and other natural elements, such as oysters or mussel beds, with harder shoreline structures to stabilize and protect Piermont's waterfront. The project also may include the design of a nature-like pathway for walking or biking along the shoreline to replace the existing sidewalks. The pathway is proposed to connect to Flywheel Park where an educational exhibit will describe the features and benefits of the living shoreline. HDR will design the project in consultation with the community and the village of Piermont.

Funding for the contracts is provided by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and is administered by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program, in partnership with NEIWPCC.

Susan Sullivan, NEIWPCC Executive Director, "NEIWPCC is pleased to be able to assist these communities along the Hudson River shoreline implement innovative climate-adaptive designs to help protect against sea-level rise and flooding resulting from climate change."

In the 2019-20 State Budget, Governor Cuomo sustained the record-high EPF at $300 million for the fourth year in a row, providing funding for open space conservation, parkland stewardship, and other environmental protection programs and projects.

DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program focuses on the tidal Hudson and its adjacent watershed from the federal dam at Troy to the Verrazano Narrows in New York City.

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