Living Breakwaters Project: Can It Protect Us From Future Storms?

SI Advance: STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- When Hurricane Sandy hit the borough in October 2012, it took the lives of 24 Staten Islanders, demolishing homes and businesses, due largely to the storm's surge.

While communities like Dongan Hills, Midland Beach, Oakwood Beach, Ocean Breeze and South Beach were all devastated, Tottenville -- located at the southernmost point of Staten Island -- experienced some of the most destructive waves.

A year later, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched a competition -- Rebuild by Design (RBD) -- to respond to Sandy's devastation in the northeast region of the United States. 

In June 2014, following a year-long, community-based design process in which the design teams met regional experts from elected officials to local groups and individuals, HUD announced the winning proposals. The Staten Island Living Breakwaters Project was one of them.

The project was awarded $60 million of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds to implement Living Breakwaters. The project is located in the waters of Raritan Bay, along the shoreline of Tottenville and Conference House Park. Continue reading...