Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the kickoff off a $60 million “Living Breakwaters” barrier that will provide critical defenses against coastal erosion and grow the natural habitat for finfish, shellfish and crustations on the south shore of Staten Island.
The water-based barrier, which includes an oyster reef to further break waves and filter sea water, complements the Staten Island NY Rising final resiliency plan to protect the area in response to the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy.
The Living Breakwaters project is funded as an awardee of the federal Rebuild by Design Competition.
“Staten Island was impacted greatly by Superstorm Sandy, and it is fitting that the first Rebuild by Design project to be implemented will be to protect these communities from the severe weather that is a result of our changing climate,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project will make Staten Island the model for resiliency and innovation, using state of the art techniques to keep communities safer and better prepared for the next extreme weather event.”
Living Breakwaters will provide environmental co-benefits of improving water quality and protecting the marine habitat by reducing the force of waves in the area.
The barrier will be constructed in Raritan Bay and Lower New York Bay, which is the optimal site to cultivate a network of large scale habitat breakwaters and reefs.
Once completed, Living Breakwaters will form a “necklace” of in-water structures that span Staten Island’s South Shore.