With the release of the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) USACE seeks public comment and input on how the New York & New Jersey Harbors and Tributaries Study should move forward
Newark, NJ— In a packed room at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials answered questions from the public about the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) for the New York and New Jersey Harbors and Tributaries Study.
In the past coastal storms have pummeled the North Atlantic Coast of the United States. In response to these storms, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is investigating measures to manage future flood risk in ways that support the long-term resilience and sustainability of the coastal ecosystem and surrounding communities, and reduce the economic costs and risks associated with flood and storm events. The New York and New Jersey Harbors and Tributaries Study is one such study that seeks to address the concerns stated above.
The Study has been ongoing for several years and has reached a critical milestone, a tentatively selected plan. It is tentative, because public meetings like the one here today will determine whether the federal government moves forward to suggest the plan as it currently is to the public, local partners, and federal leaders.
USACE recommends Alternative 3B at a cost of $61.5B. Alternative 3B consists of flood gates at the end of the Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill Channels, to be closed during a major storm event in order to protect critical infrastructure along the area of Newark Bay, among other features in Jamaica Bay and throughout the New York Harbor region. Shore based measures like flood walls, levee’s, and others, will run along Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as other parts of the study area.
Figure 1: Alternative 3B
Alternative 3B also ties in with existing USACE projects in Rockaway, and all along the New York Coastline in Long Island and along the Jersey Shore to enhance coastal storm risk reduction for the Residents in New York and New Jersey. Combined with the proposed Harbor Deepening project in the New York Harbor and ecosystem restoration projects all along the Hudson River, USACE is leading the way to ensure the New York and New Jersey region is prepared for the economic and environmental challenges of the future.
“It is interesting, all the gates and other things that work together,” said Steven Avo-Mara, Elizabeth, NJ Resident.
“I want to see more protections for birds and fish, I want to see this but with less impact on the environment.” Said Shana Smith of Essex Fells, NJ.
As opinions varied on the how, everyone was in agreement that more needs to be done to protect the region from coastal storm risk and flooding. As a result, USACE has already completed a project in Minish Park here in Newark to reduce flood risk to Newark’s Ironbound and Downtown areas, a project that many residents complimented during the meeting.
More public meetings for the New York and New Jersey Hat Study will take place throughout the public comment period, which ends on March 7th, 2023. Public comments will then be taken into account and changes will be made to the study based on recommendations from our non-federal partners and members of the public on many topics ranging from environmental justice to sustainability. Another report and environmental assessment is expected to be released shortly thereafter.