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Posted 9/2/2015

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By V. Elias
New York District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is developing, maintaining and applying the best expertise in science and engineering to restore and enhance the resilience of coastlines and has made remarkable progress following Hurricane Sandy to reduce the risk of damage from future storms.  With the passage of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, the Corps was provided with the authority and funding to complete ongoing coastal storm damage risk management projects and studies in the Northeast United States, including a Staten Island study.

In June 2015, the Corps’ New York District issued a 'Draft Environmental Impact Statement' and 'Draft South Shore of Staten Island Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Report for South Shore of Staten Island Coastal Storm Risk Management Project' which outlines coastal storm risk management elements recommended to be constructed for the coastal area from Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach, in the borough of Staten Island, New York.

In August 2015, the Corps’ New York District and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation worked with its partners and conducted public information sessions at the Regina McGinn Center of the Staten Island University Hospital located in the coastal community of South Beach, Staten Island, N.Y.

The public outreach focused on Phase I of the Feasibility Study for Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach. Two identical sessions were conducted on two separate evenings to facilitate the community to attend either date. 

The event was attended by representatives from the offices of elected officials, stakeholders, partners, residents, business owners and the news media.

Anthony Ciorra, the Army Corps’ Chief of Coastal Restoration, New York District made the opening remarks and the official introduction of officials. New York District’s Karen Ashton, Civil Engineer, Planning Division made the opening remarks and introductions at the second event.

A comprehensive overview was presented by Frank Verga, the Corps' Project Manager preceded and followed by interactive information sessions in adjacent break out rooms populated with poster boards that illustrated the project.   The event was staffed by technical specialists Catherine Alcoba, Chief, Coastal Ecosystem Section; Lynn Bocamazo, Carlos Gonzalez, Kelly Britt, and Christina Rasmussen who responded individually to specific questions from attendees. At the poster board information exchange, literature was made available along with cards for written public comments.

A multiple slide presentation was projected onto two large screens in the auditorium as Verga used a laser pointer to highlight information, images, renderings and graphics contained on each slide.  He pointed to an overview that depicted the project area which encompasses a reach approximately 5.5 miles long from Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach and designed to manage risks caused by storm surge flooding, which poses a serious threat to the south shore of Staten Island.

Verga spoke about interior drainage, tide gates, sluice gates, storm water outfall structures, road raisings, excavated ponds and about a Line of Protection (LOP) consisting of a buried seawall-armored levee along a majority of the Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach reach (approximately 80 percent) serving as the first line of defense against severe coastal surge flooding and wave forces.  

"The remainder of the LOP would consist of a T-Type vertical floodwall, levee and in the Oakwood Beach area - a mosaic of habitats such as tidal wetlands, maritime forest/scrub-shrub habitat, low marsh and high marsh acres of living shoreline," said Verga.

A promenade would be in place on top of a seawall-armored levee from Miller Field to Oakwood Beach. From Fort Wadsworth to Midland Beach the seawall would have a 38‐foot‐wide boardwalk on top, replacing the existing boardwalk.

The Project is a partnership between the Corps and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation the non-Federal Sponsor, and in cooperation with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

The presentation and information about the DEIS and Draft Report for the Staten Island project and associated documents are available on Army Corps’ New York District web site at www.nan.usace.army.mil/StatenIsland


Draft Environmental Impact Statement Draft South Shore of Staten Island Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Report for South Shore of Staten Island Coastal Storm Risk Management Project