New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program - Maps & Policies

Waterfront Revitalization Program

Maps are included in Part III of the WRP document to delineate New York City’s Coastal Zone Boundary as well as five Special Area Designations.

The Coastal Zone Boundary defines the geographic scope of the WRP. This boundary encompasses all land and water that could have a direct and significant impact on coastal water, including all waterfront land up to the first upland street at least 300 feet inland, as well as all coastal wetlands, waterfront parks, floodplains, and other significant coastal features.

Coastal Zone Boundary

The WRP sets forth five types of special area designations. Different policies may take priority if located in or adjacent to a special area designation.

Special Natural Waterfront Areas (SNWAs)

PDF Document Special Natural Waterfront Areas (SNWAs)

SNWAs are large areas with significant open spaces and concentrations of natural resources including wetlands, habitats and buffer areas.

PDF Document Priority Policy: 4.1: Protect and restore the ecological quality and component habitats and resources within the Special Natural Waterfront Areas.

Locations: East River/Long Island Sound, Jamaica Bay, and Northwestern Staten Island Harbor Herons Area

Significant Maritime and Industrial Areas (SMIAs)

PDF Document Significant Maritime and Industrial Areas (SMIAs)

SMIAs are areas especially valuable as industrial areas and working waterfronts, due to their location and site conditions.

PDF Document Priority Policy: 2.1: Promote water-dependent and industrial uses in Significant Maritime and Industrial Areas.

Locations: South Bronx, Newtown Creek, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Red Hook Container Terminal, Sunset Park/Erie Basin, Kill Van Kull, and Staten Island West Shore

Arthur Kill Ecologically Sensitive Maritime and Industrial Area (ESMIA)

PDF Document Arthur Kill Ecologically Sensitive Maritime and Industrial Area (ESMIA)

The Arthur Kill ESMIA promotes industrial development in concert with preservation and enhancement of ecological resources specifically on the West Shore of Staten Island.

Priority Policies:

PDF Document 2.2: Encourage a compatible relationship between working waterfront uses, upland development and natural resources within the Ecologically Sensitive Maritime and Industrial Area.

PDF Document 4.2: Protect and restore the ecological quality and component habitats and resources within the Ecologically Sensitive Maritime and Industrial Area.

Location: West Shore of Staten Island along Arthur Kill

Priority Marine Activity Zones (PMAZ)

PDF Document Priority Marine Activity Zones (PMAZ)

PMAZ are areas with concentrations of waterborne transportation uses that support the city’s waterborne transportation and maritime activities.

PDF Document Priority Policy: 3.5: In Priority Marine Activity Zones, support the ongoing maintenance of maritime infrastructure for water-dependent uses.

Locations: Majority of the 7 Significant Maritime and Industrial Areas; maritime clusters in Eastchester, Flushing Bay, southeastern Staten Island; cruise terminals, ferry landings, commercial marinas, and others.

Recognized Ecological Complexes (RECs)

PDF Document Recognized Ecological Complexes (RECs)

The RECs are clusters of valuable natural features which are more fragmented than those in the SNWAs and often interspersed with developed sites.

PDF Document Priority Policy: 4.4: Identify, remediate and restore ecological functions within Recognized Ecological Complexes.

Locations: Protected parkland, areas designated as Forever Wild Preserves, and other priority acquisition or restoration sites identified from a variety of science-based plans and reports.

The WRP establishes a set of ten policy categories for the development and use of waterfront areas within NYC’s Coastal Zone. These provide a framework for evaluating whether actions are consistent with the WRP’s goals. PDF Document Download Part II of the WRP: The Policies

  • PDF Document Policy 1: Residential and Commercial Redevelopment
    Support and facilitate commercial and residential redevelopment in areas well-suited to such development.
  • PDF Document Policy 2: Maritime and Industrial Development
    Support water-dependent and industrial uses in coastal areas that are well-suited to their continued operations
    • PDF Document ESMIA Guidance - The ESMIA Guidance document provides information on addressing proposed developments within Arthur Kill Ecologically Sensitive Maritime and Industrial Area (ESMIA).
  • PDF Document Policy 3: Use of the Waterways
    Promote the use of waterways for commercial and recreational boating and water-dependent transportation
  • PDF Document Policy 4: Ecological Resources
    Protect and restore the quality and function of ecological systems within the New York City coastal area
    • PDF Document ESMIA Guidance - for more information on addressing protection and restoration of ecosystems and component habitats within the Ecologically Sensitive Maritime and Industrial Area (ESMIA).
  • PDF Document Policy 5: Water Quality
    Protect and improve water quality in the New York City coastal area
  • PDF Document Policy 6: Flooding and Erosion
    Minimize loss of life, structures, infrastructure, and natural resources caused by flooding and erosion, and increase resilience to future conditions created by climate change
    • PDF Document Policy 6.2 Guidance - The Policy 6.2 Climate Adaptation Guidance document assists applicants in integrating consideration of the latest New York City projections of climate change and sea level rise into the planning and design of projects in the city’s Coastal Zone.
    • The Excel Document
Flood Elevation Worksheet allows applicants to calculate future flood elevations and assess site-specific risks to vulnerable or critical project features.
    • For a comprehensive overview of coastal flood hazards in New York City and to locate properties subject to current and future flood risk, please visit DCP's Flood Hazard Mapper.
  • PDF Document Policy 7: Hazardous Materials
    Minimize environmental degradation and negative impacts on public health from solid waste, toxic pollutants, hazardous materials, and industrial materials that may pose risks to the environment and public health and safety
  • PDF Document Policy 8: Public Access
    Provide public access to, from, and along New York City’s coastal waters
  • PDF Document Policy 9: Scenic Resources
    Protect scenic resources that contribute to the visual quality of the New York City coastal area
  • PDF Document Policy 10: Historic and Cultural Resources
    Protect, preserve and enhance resources significant to the historical, archaeological, architectural, and cultural legacy of the New York City coastal area