NYC Parks today announced the completion of its “Shoreline Parks Plan,” New York City’s first-ever conceptual plan for the East Shore of Staten Island. Addressing approximately 5.5 miles of shoreline and 1,000 acres of NYC Parks property, the Shoreline Parks Plan re-envisions parks along Staten Island’s shore and introduces diversified amenities and activities; increases accessibility and circulation; and improves the overall visitor experience. The plan is necessitated by the proposed U.S. Army Corps Coastal Storm Risk Management Project, a substantial portion of which will be on City property. Parks leveraged this opportunity to reimagine, update, and improve Staten Island’s East Shore parks in a way that adapts to and aligns with the USACE proposed project.
“The East Shore of Staten Island is a destination for outdoor recreation activities, and we’re excited that we have worked with the community to develop this plan to enhance these beloved parks and open spaces for decades to come,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “Coastal resiliency continues to grow in importance, and we are ready to meet the moment with this exceptionally forward-thinking plan.”
The Shoreline Parks Plan was funded by the New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund. The first phase was completed in 2017, and the second and final phase finished in 2022. In total, the project was funded with $830,000 by the NYS Department of State and the City of New York.
“The New York Department of State, through our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, is a proud partner in strengthening the Staten Island shoreline to help build resiliency in an area severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “Working with and incorporating extensive input from upland neighborhood communities, the Shoreline Parks Plan strategizes for adaptation and expansion of the Staten Island Waterfront Greenway with biodiverse native plantings and pollinators, parks with active and passive recreation facilities, and natural areas with restored wetlands. Healthy coastal wetland environments help filter water; reduce the destructive power of floods and storms; provide habitats for fish and wildlife; and enhance the availability and use of public green spaces for members of the community. The visualization of a new, more green and strengthened shoreline is just another step forward in New York City’s revitalization and overall resilience.”
“Staten Island was devastated by Superstorm Sandy and this plan will help protect East Shore communities from flooding,” said Rohit T. Aggarwala, Chief Climate Officer and NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner. “It simultaneously adds natural beauty, cleaner waterways, and recreation options for residents —a win for everyone. DEP is proud of the work our trusted partners USACE and Parks have done to weave green infrastructure into a community’s fabric.”
Staten Island’s East Shore has been a beachfront recreation destination for almost a century, resulting in a superb network of parks and open space. Today, the East Shore is rich with amenities, including a 2.4-mile boardwalk and shoreline esplanade, three swimming beaches that receive over 400,000 visitors a year, as well as athletic fields and natural areas.
In response to flood devastation and to plan for community protection from future storms, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is advancing a Coastal Storm Risk Management project. The USACE project proposes building a 5.5 mile “Line of Protection” (LOP), which will consist of protective seawall, floodwall, and earthen levee, as well as a series of inland drainage areas.
The Shoreline Parks Plan reflects public feedback received at two community meetings held in summer 2022, as well as online submissions, and builds on extensive community planning and input process over the past years. The Plan focuses on the Staten Island Waterfront Greenway and natural and recreation areas. Parks is excited to introduce this comprehensive shoreline plan with diverse ecologies, mobility options, and recreational opportunities accessible to all. Proposed new or updated recreation amenities include a waterfront greenway, playgrounds, a skate park, pickleball courts, trails, soccer, a performance lawn, and dog runs. Additionally, Parks incorporated necessary climate resiliency and green infrastructure goals into the Shoreline Parks Plan. Capital improvements proposed in the Plan aim to reduce localized stormwater flooding, increase greening, capture stormwater, and contribute to cleaner waterways.
Parks continues to collaborate with USACE on their planning and design of the LOP, as well as the National Park Service, NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and NYC Department of Transportation partners. Parks seeks to raise funding for recommended capital projects in the Plan, and pending funding aims to implement the capital projects in City parks once the USACE LOP is constructed. Parks will also use the Plan as a guide that memorializes community preferences for re-envisioned waterfront parks to coordinate with the ongoing USACE project. It is critical to integrate flood protection systems into the urban fabric and provide multiple benefits for communities.
To download a copy of the Shoreline Parks Plan, visit Parks’ Shoreline Parks Plan webpage.
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