Dutch Solutions for New York Storm Defences Plan

Deltares is a partner in two of the six winning consortiums that will improve storm defences in New York.

The consortiums will be responsible for the ‘New Meadowlands’ project near Little Ferry in New Jersey and ‘Living with the Bay’ in Nassau County on Long Island.

New Meadowlands will create an area measuring 80 km² that will protect the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region from future floods. At the same time, nature, infrastructure and urban functions will be made more robust. This integrated approach will not only make the area safer, but above all more appealing as a place to live, boosting economic growth. Before Superstorm Sandy, there was no coordinated spatial planning and large parts of the area were neglected and polluted.

New Meadowlands is, like the Netherlands, a low-lying area, opening the way to the introduction of typically Dutch solutions. The safety approach is based on the latest Dutch insights, with the emphasis on ‘nature-based flood defence’, using nature to improve flood defences.

Mindert de Vries, the Deltares project leader for New Meadowlands, said: “This wet area will acquire a genuine Dutch appearance. As much as possible, we will be using “soft” dikes made from clay or sand with grass revetments, in combination with forebanks consisting of marshland, reed beds or woodland. This type of landscape can be found in the Netherlands in, for example, the Eems-Dollard area. We use the transport infrastructure in place as flood defences and we will only be building new hard dikes with asphalt if no other solutions are possible.”

Press Release, June 9, 2014

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