New York City's 520-mile coastline, bordering the ocean, rivers, bays, and inlets, is both diverse and complex. The City does not have many purpose-built coastal defenses as most of its marine features serve this function coincidentally, rather than by design. For example, recreational beaches provide protection for adjacent neighborhoods and wetlands serve as a buffer to inland areas. Due to the uncoordinated fashion in which these various features were constructed, they lack the robustness, comprehensiveness and adaptability that the new era of climate change demands.
By working with City, State, and federal agencies that play a role in regulating New York City’s waterfront, New York City will be better prepared to weather the stronger and more frequent storms caused by climate change. Through focused interventions to increase coastal edge elevations, minimize upland waves zones, and protect against storm surge while improving coastal design and governance, the City will be better prepared to protect vulnerable areas from future storms: