East Side Coastal Resiliency

East Side Coastal Resiliency Project

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New York, greatly impacting the east side of Manhattan and highlighting the need for the City of New York to increase its efforts to protect vulnerable populations and critical infrastructure during extreme coastal storm events. Hurricane Sandy, a presidentially declared disaster, caused extensive coastal flooding. The flooding resulted in significant damage to residential and commercial property, open space, and critical transportation, power, and water and sewer infrastructure, which in turn affected medical and other essential services. As part of its plan to address vulnerability to such major flooding, the City is proposing the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) Project, which involves the construction of a coastal flood protection system along a portion of the east side of Manhattan and related improvements to City infrastructure.

The proposed project area begins at Montgomery Street to the south and extends north along the waterfront to East 25th Street and is composed of two sub-areas: Project Area One and Project Area Two. Project Area One extends from Montgomery Street on the south to the north end of John V. Lindsay East River Park (East River Park) at about East 13th Street. Project Area One is approximately 75 acres and consists primarily of the FDR Drive, a portion of Pier 42 and Corlears Hook Park as well as East River Park. Project Area Two extends north and east from Project Area One, from East 13th Street to East 25th Street. In addition to the FDR Drive right-of-way, Project Area Two includes the Con Edison East 13th Street Substation and the East River Generating Station, Murphy Brothers Playground, Stuyvesant Cove Park, and Asser Levy Recreational Center and Playground.

Implementation of the proposed ESCR Project involves substantial activities within City parkland, therefore the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has assumed the role of Lead Agency in fulfilling the environmental review requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR).

To implement the proposed project, the City and its federal partners have committed approximately $1.5 billion in funding. The City has entered into a grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to disburse $335 million of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds for the design and construction of the proposed project. The City is the grantee of CDBG-DR funds related to Hurricane Sandy for the development of a coastal flood protection system, which would be provided to the City through the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB), acting under HUD’s authority. Therefore, OMB has been designated as the project's "Responsible Entity" in accordance with HUD regulations and is also the Lead Agency for environmental review requirements in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

On October 30, 2015, NYC Parks, as SEQRA/CEQR Lead Agency, in conjunction with OMB, issued a Positive Declaration directing that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be prepared, and released a Draft Scope of Work to prepare an EIS for public review and comment. A public scoping meeting on this Draft Scope of Work was held on December 3, 2015, at Bard High School Early College, 525 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Final Scope of Work (FSOW) were released on April 5, 2019. A public hearing on the DEIS was held on July 31, 2019 at 10:00 AM at 120 Broadway, Concourse Level, New York, NY 10271. Written comments on the DEIS were requested and received until August 30, 2019.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was prepared for public review as of September 13, 2019. The FEIS incorporated responses to the public comments received on the DEIS and was updated to reflect the design and programmatic changes to the proposed project subsequent to the completion of the DEIS.

A copy of the FEIS is available at the links below, at the NYC Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery page, and is available for public inspection at the following locations during regular business hours:

  • NYC Parks, The Arsenal, Central Park, 830 Fifth Avenue, Room 401, New York, NY 10065
  • OMB, 255 Greenwich Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10007 
  • New York Public Library – Seward Park Branch, 192 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002
  • New York Public Library – Epiphany Branch – 228 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010

Following release of the FEIS, a number of minor technical enhancements have been proposed in the design of the Preferred Alternative; so a Technical Memorandum was prepared to examine whether these modifications would result in any new or different significant adverse environmental impacts not already identified in the FEIS. The modified Preferred Alternative includes a revised construction phasing plan, the reconfiguration of the Stuyvesant Cove parking lot under the elevated FDR Drive, conservative operational procedures for closure of the drainage isolation gates, and a number of project enhancements including flood proofing the Fireboat House and reconstructing the bulkhead and support structures beneath this section of the waterfront esplanade, reconstructing a canopy structure at the proposed East River Park amphitheater, adding a comfort station at the redesigned Murphy Brothers Playground, elevating the area south of the amphitheater, and revising the esplanade structural support design at the existing and proposed embayments. These project modifications are described in further detail in the Technical Memorandum, which is available below.

On December 6, 2019 NYC Parks and OMB issued a Joint Record of Decision and Statement of Findings (Joint ROD and Findings Statement) for the East Side Costal Resiliency Project. OMB and NYC Parks have selected Alternative 4: Flood Protection System with a Raised East River Park for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (the Preferred Alternative). This alternative is fully described in Chapter 2.0, “Project Alternatives,” of the FEIS. This Joint ROD and Findings Statement can be found below. It also includes responses to the comments received during the public comment period which ended at 5 PM on October 15, 2019.These comments are summarized and responded to in Appendix A, “Response to Comments on the FEIS.” Copies of written comments from the elected officials and organizations/agencies are included in Appendix B, “Written Comments Received on the FEIS.” In addition, a comment letter dated November 8, 2019 from Attorney General Letitia James (see Appendix B) was also considered.

For questions, please contact:

Colleen Alderson, Chief of Parklands and Real Estate
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
The Arsenal, Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue, Room 401
New York, New York 10065
Telephone: 212-360-3403
Fax: 212-360-3453
Email: escr@parks.nyc.gov

Calvin Johnson, Assistant Director CDBG-DR
New York City Office of Management and Budget
255 Greenwich Street-8th Floor
New York, New York 10007
Telephone: 212-788-6024
Fax: 212-788-6222
Email: CDBGDR-Enviro@omb.nyc.gov


Related Files


Final Environmental Impact Statement

Table of Contents



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