Addabbo and Barnwell Highlight Importance of NYC Seawall

Legislation (S.6927/A.8686) sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and Assemblyman Brian Barnwell to create a New York City Seawall Study Commission has been approved by the State Senate and Assembly.

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo

The intent of the bill, which will now go to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for final action, is to determine the feasibility of constructing a seawall or seagate along the New York City coastline to protect residents from any future extreme weather events.

“Those of us who lived through Hurricane Sandy know full well the devastation that can be caused by rapidly rising sea levels and storm surge,” said Addabbo. “Almost six years later, and despite a great deal of progress, some of our residents are still working to recover from a storm that claimed human lives, destroyed properties and transportation systems, demolished local businesses, and otherwise presented extraordinary challenges we had never faced before in our communities.”

Assemblyman Barnwell, agreed, saying: “It is great news for our City that the New York State Legislature passed our seawall study bill. Hurricane Sandy showed us how our infrastructure needs major upgrades to protect our citizens and our communities from future hurricanes and storm surge. When implemented, a sea wall will help save lives, protect our homes, and save the City billions of dollars by protecting our infrastructure. I ask the Governor to sign this bill into law.”

By December 31, 2020, at the latest, the New York City Seawall Study Commission would be required to present its finding to the Governor and State Legislature.

Its study and recommendations must address the costs, impacts, and best possible locations for a seawall or seagate along the New York City coastline, and identify areas most at risk of storm surge, rising groundwater levels, saltwater intrusion, coastal flooding and other extreme weather dangers.