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DESCRIPTION: This coastal storm risk management study (CSRM) covers the New York & New Jersey Harbor and tidally affected tributaries encompassing all of New York City, the Hudson River to Troy, NY; the lower Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, and Raritan Rivers; and the Upper and Lower Bays of New York Harbor, Newark, Jamaica, Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays; the Kill Van Kull, Arthur Kill and East River tidal straits; and western Long Island Sound. This focus area feasibility study is one of nine that the USACE North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS) Report, issued January 2015, identified for further study.  This study is authorized by Public Law 84-71, June 15, 1955 (69 Stat. 132) which directs the examination of damages in coastal and tidal areas due to coastal storms such as hurricanes “and of possible means of preventing loss of human lives and damages to property, with due consideration of the economics of proposed breakwaters, seawalls, dikes, dams, and other structures, warning services, or other measures which might be required.”


The New York & New Jersey Harbor region was severely impacted from Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.  While several specific studies and projects by USACE, other federal agencies as well as state and local agencies have subsequently been performed or initiated within the study area following Hurricane Sandy, the broader New York & New Jersey Harbor and tributary region lacks a comprehensive plan for managing future potential coastal storm risks facing the region, including those from projected sea level and extreme weather events. This study’s goal is to develop such a plan from the federal perspective and in a systems context.


STATUS: The study’s feasibility cost-sharing agreement (FCSA) was executed with the States of New York and New Jersey, represented by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, on July 15, 2016.  In addition to these two non-federal study sponsors, several other agency stakeholders, including New York City, are partnered with the study. 


USACE has scoped the study in coordination with the non-federal partners and other regional agency stakeholders resulting in a preliminary initial estimate of $19.4M and six years to complete the study with the issuance of a Chief of Engineer’s Report.  The initial focused array of alternatives have been formulated ranging from harbor-wide coastal storm risk management methods to land-based, perimeter CSRM methods, with three alternatives between.   All alternatives are anticipated to also include non-structural measures and natural and nature based features as appropriate.  To be conservative, all other ongoing studies and projects by USACE and other agencies that can reasonably be expected to be implemented by 2020 are assumed to be in place as part of this study’s assumed future “without project” condition. Using USACE work plan and non-federal sponsor contributed funds, the study team plans to identify by spring of 2019 initial economic and other evaluations of the initial spectrum of severe storm conceptual alternatives to help guide which CSRM measures warrant further investigation to better manage coastal flood risks that remain in the region, consistent with USACE planning guidance. 


Bryce W. Wisemiller, Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Phone: (917) 790–8307
Programs and Project Management Division, Civil Works Programs Branch
26 Federal Plaza, Room 2127
New York, NY 10279-0090

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: NY-03, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 NJ-05, 06, 08, 09 10, 11, 12  


Current as of October 2018