Coney Island Creek resiliency study offers solutions for flood prevention

A report released by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has outlined solutions to the potential threat of super storms striking the coastal sections of South Brooklyn.

The Coney Island Creek Resiliency Study also made use of input and advocacy from local pols and community members to detail how our coastlines can be protected in the future.

“This is one of the more vulnerable spots of the Coney Island peninsula and really the pathway into backdoor flooding,” said Dan  Zarrilli, chief resilience officer at the mayor’s office. “There’s been a lot of great work, collaboration with the Army Corps, more sand on the beaches, over $2 billion being invested in recovery and resiliency work. This is a big area that needs to be addressed going into the future.”

According to the study, the edges of Coney Island, Sea Gate and Bath Beach were some of the hardest hit areas in South Brooklyn during Hurricane Sandy, receiving up to 15 feet of flooding in some areas.

“My role as the chair of the Committee of Recovery and Resiliency and also as a councilmember representing some of the hardest hit areas by [Hurricane] Sandy in New York was to get Southern Brooklyn on the map for the right reasons,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger. “South Brooklyn was originally not included in the study, but thanks to advocacy of residents and my office, we are now included in the study, which extends from Jamaica Bay through to Coney Island and the entire Southern Brooklyn peninsula.”

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Mark Treyger
Photo courtesy of Councilmember Mark Treyger

Residents voiced the need for improved water, sediment and soil quality in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as well as an additional means of emergency egress from the west end of Coney Island. Some potential solutions to prevent future Coney Island Creek flooding included the construction of a vertical barrier (floodwall), a levee, a living shoreline (sloped shore covered in vegetative growth) and a vertical wall made of steel, concrete or timber (bulkhead).

The study also reported that coastal flood mitigation in the Coney Island Creek area would protect 960 businesses, 45,800 residents, 74 acres of parks and open space, 5,900 buildings and 1.2 millions square feet of schools.

“The studies are great, but in the end we are really trying to increase resiliency,” said Colonel David Caldwell, a district engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “We’ve got to come up with those plans that are feasible, acceptable, suitable and sustainable over the long haul.”


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