On Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, State Begins Work to Protect Residents Along Fresh Creek in Brooklyn
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that The Governor's Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) will begin construction on a $14 million project to protect the most at-risk sections of Fresh Creek's shoreline in Canarsie, Brooklyn. The project will help the community adapt to the effects of climate change by reducing flooding during future storms and rises in sea-level, and help the area recover more quickly during future storm events.
"Climate change is a reality we must address and I am committed to building infrastructure that will protect our communities as we deal with rising seas and increasingly stronger storms," Governor Hochul said. "Canarsie is particularly vulnerable to storm surges and flooding, and this project will make the neighborhood more resilient and give residents the peace of mind they need and deserve."
The Fresh Creek Coastal Protection Project will employ strategic flood protection measures to improve resiliency in the community, which is a FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Area.
The project will be implemented through GOSR's sub recipient partner, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY).
Tide gate chambers will be installed within culverts flowing to Fresh Creek at Avenues K, Avenue L, Avenue M, Avenue N, and Seaview Avenue. The outfall into Fresh Creek at Avenue M, which is blocked by sedimentation and other debris that hinders the flow of water, will be reconstructed with a reinforced concrete storm sewer outfall.
Residents in this area along the Fresh Creek shoreline frequently deal with the effects of climate change. Water reaches high levels during storm surge and high tide, which causes catch basins to overflow with storm water. The tide gate chambers will help prevent water from the creek from back flowing through culverts and allow the existing drainage system to function more efficiently. Restoration of the Avenue M outfall will mitigate the impacts of erosion currently deteriorating the coastline.
Construction is expected to be completed in Fall 2022.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner, RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "As New Yorkers just experienced during Ida, storms that leave many of our neighborhoods paralyzed are happening more and more often. Projects like these, however, can help ensure that our local storm infrastructure is resilient and that we can better respond to the effects of climate change."
Deputy Executive Director of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure Programs at GOSR, Eileen Méus said, "By partnering with community and grassroots organizations on the Fresh Creek Coastal Protection project, we have found a collaborative solution that relied on the feedback of the community and expertise of local stakeholders. We're proud that this strategic investment will play an important role in protecting Canarsie and improving the quality-of-life for residents in these neighborhoods."
DASNY President & CEO, Reuben R. McDaniel III said, "DASNY is proud to partner with GOSR on the design and construction of projects like Fresh Creek that are critical to protecting our shoreline communities against weather damage and preserving their economies."
Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said, "Today's announcement is good news for constituents residing immediately adjacent to Fresh Creek whose homes are frequently put at risk during high tides, coastal storm surges and precipitation. I thank the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery and DASNY for this commitment to the 19th Senate District under the Fresh Creek Coastal Protection Project".
Assemblymember Williams said, "As the chairperson of the subcommittee on emergency preparedness and disaster response, I applaud The Governor's Office of Storm Recovery. I look forward to seeing the implementation of the Fresh Creek Coastal Protection project which will improve resiliency in our district."
Assemblymember Nick Perry said, "I applaud Governor Hochul and the NYS Office of Storm Recovery for their diligent efforts in making sure this vital Fresh Creek Coastal Protection Project gets completed. Any resident of Canarsie who lived through Superstorm Sandy can attest to the great need for storm mitigation projects such as this one which will make sure another "once in a lifetime" weather event doesn't again devastate this area."
Council Member Alan Maisel said, "Fresh Creek and the surrounding waters have defined the Canarsie Community for generations. With the rise in sea levels and increase in storm surges, these waters have become an imminent threat to the viability of the community. This capital endeavor will make great strides in infrastructure improvements while creating a more resilient South Brooklyn. I applaud Governor Hochul, Members of the State and the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery for their hard work throughout New York, but especially to areas like Canarsie."
President of Fresh Creek Civic Association Maria Garret said, "For over 20 years I've been trying to get a project off the ground to restore this body of water, the Fresh Creek Nature Preserve. I have had to work with many different agencies and elected officials, which was something challenging. Because I am a resident of the area, I was able to help keep this project alive, and that is why it's always so important to involve the residents. It's not only I that did this, but the effort of the entire community."
Established in June 2013, GOSR coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure, and Rebuild by Design programs, GOSR invests $4.5 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding to better prepare New York for extreme weather events. More information about GOSR and its programs is available at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/.
Through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure Programs, the State takes on a variety of initiatives developed during its bottom-up community planning process to improve resiliency, protect critical infrastructure, mitigate the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters, and reduce hardship.
Now in the implementation stage, GOSR works with a variety of municipal, county, and non-profit partners to bring hundreds of locally devised proposals to fruition.
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