Resiliency News–Projects, Ideas, and features about our waterways here and all around

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Lake Erie Bill of Rights: Legally Flawed But Nonetheless Important

by Kelli Kilbert, Juris, March 14, 2019

Toledo, Ohio, residents last month overwhelmingly voted in favor of the innovative Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR), an amendment to the city charter which declares Lake Erie has enforceable legal rights. What that vote signals may turn out to be more important to Lake Erie than the well-intentioned but legally flawed LEBOR itself.

Uproar After City Slaughters Hundreds of Trees at NYCHA Housing Project

by Isabel Vincent, NY Post, April 28, 2019

“Manhattan’s largest housing project has turned into a tree graveyard, with more than 200 mature hardwoods cut to stumps by the city. Over the last month, chainsaw crews swarmed the Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side, taking down huge shade trees and planting orange traffic cones where they once stood across the project’s 27 acres.”

Baruch is a massive construction site because of hurricane recovery projects, and next spring, East River Park across the highway will also be a massive construction site. Has anyone seen the city carry out such drastic hurricane recovery/flood protection plans in a well-to-do neighborhood?

The Healing Power of Gardens

by Oliver Sacks, the late great neurologist and writer, New York Times Magazine, April 18, 2019

“The role that nature plays in health and healing becomes even more critical for people working long days in windowless offices, for those living in city neighborhoods without access to green spaces, for children in city schools or for those in institutional settings such as nursing homes. The effects of nature’s qualities on health are not only spiritual and emotional but physical and neurological.”

As the Sea Rises, Will Resiliency—Rather Than Retreat—Be Enough to Save Waterfront NYC?

by Neil deMause, City Limits, April 17, 2019

Talking about Gowanus, but relevant to us: “If the city erects berms and other raised structures along the canal to defend against sea level rise, [resident Katia] Kelly worries that will only cause rainwater to pool behind the raised sections, exacerbating the flooding that already plagues basements in the neighborhood.”

Rebuilt Wetlands Can Protect Shorelines Better Than Walls

by Rowan Jacobsen, Scientific American, 2019

“Fortified wetlands can protect shorelines better than hard structures.” This needs to be taken into account for ESCR flood protection. The current plan is a hard structure.

De Blasio Announces ‘Expert Panel’ To Fix This Whole BQE Mess

by Jen Carlson, April 3, 2019, Gothamist

“…Mayor Bill de Blasio has now announced he’s assembled a crack team to evaluate the reconstruction of the crumbling triple-cantilevered stretch of Robert Moses’s Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which runs approximately 1.5 miles from Atlantic to Sands streets in Brooklyn Heights.”

We want a Crack Team for our East River Parks!

Top NYC design firm floats cheaper BQE plan that could save beloved Brooklyn Heights Promenade

by Clayton Guse, April 3, 2019, New York Daily News

“The idea, dubbed the Brooklyn-Queens Park, would save the revered Brooklyn Heights Promenade from closing for six years while rehab work is completed on the highway, and would turn the triple-stacked road into a multi-tiered green space.”

Hey, that’s what we want for our East River Parks.

A Better Way NYC 

“Save the Brooklyn Heights Promenade” is the tagline of the group formed after the Department of Transportation announced they were going to put a six-lane highway on the beloved Brooklyn walkway during rebuilding of the BQE. The City quickly capitulated and ordered a blue ribbon panel and studies when residents organized. We want equity with Brooklyn Heights!

We Can’t Effectively Plan for Climate Change without Real Community Dialogue and Long-Term Planning

opinion by Roland Lewis and Kate Boicourt, April 5, 2019, Gotham Gazette

Waterfront Alliance leaders write about “Mayor de Blasio’s surprise roll-out on March 14 of the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency project, which features a precedent-setting plan to infill up to 500 feet of the East River to protect the Financial District…”

They write, “A substantially updated and fast-tracked proposal for the resiliency of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the aborted Long Island City Amazon campus reveal an unwelcome common thread: big ideas that carry great importance for the economy, environment, and resilience of our city require understanding, buy-in, and a sense of how they fit into a plan for the larger whole, before they are presented to the public.”

By Samantha Schmidt, New York Times, June 15, 2016

Building over the FDR is being done with highway closures on the Upper East Side. It can be done for the Lower East Side and the East Village, too.

Meet The Fish Of The East River by Clarisa Diaz in Gothamist

Some strange and wonderful creatures swim by our East River Parks. Should the impact of the East Side Coast Resiliency project on the river be examined?

‘Seaport City’ would bury East River fish

by Mike Dulong, Riverkeeper, March 13, 2019

Yes, Virginia, messing with the river does kill the fish. “New York City’s waterways provide critical habitat for a wide variety of aquatic species, a number of which are in precipitous decline…”

How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich

NPR, March 5, 2019

This resonates with what’s happening in our neighborhood. The city is planning to close and demolish our park in a way they’d never dare to do in more well-to-do neighborhoods.  “…after a disaster, rich people get richer and poor people get poorer. And federal disaster spending appears to exacerbate that wealth inequality.”

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