East Side Coastal Resiliency Project leaders grilled in City Council hearing

The Villager: The question of how to protect lower Manhattan from the threat of rising sea levels is still up in the air, as activists and city officials debated the merits of raising East River Park to defend against sea level rise.

A Thursday hearing at City Hall saw no disagreement that something had to be done, but compromise on how climate change should be combatted was hard to come by.

The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project aims to protect 2.4 miles of coastline from Montgomery Street to East 25th Street, according to the city, but plans to raise East River Park by 10 feet and provide additional buffering against 100-year storms and global sea-rise projected for 2050.

Thursday’s Landmarks Committee hearing had the latest on the plan, though there was very little to placate the feeling that the city was subjecting residents of the Lower East Side to a “land grab.”

Councilwoman Carlina Rivera said survival of the city depends on “bold solutions” considering how the city suffered through $19 billion of damage from Superstorm Sandy and that the project will mitigate future disasters.

Rivera claims her decision on the project could be the most important of her career in consideration to climate change events currently taking place across the globe.

“This is a stark reality we face as we consider the East Coast Resiliency Project,” Rivera said.

Rivera later flipped the script and said the DDC and the city must make a greater effort at transparency. Read more>>

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