New Yorkers and coast-dwellers are rallying for safer, cleaner and more open waterfront and harbors.
Yesterday, June 1, the first day of hurricane season, at 11 a.m. the Waterfront Alliance hosted a rally and press conference in conjunction with the release of the Harbor Scorecard. The “Rally for Our Waterfronts” took place on the steps of City Hall in Downtown Manhattan.
The Harbor Scorecard is a new tool designed to set a standard for a healthier waterfront. The scorecard uses a neighborhood-by-neighborhood evaluation to provide a wide array of data. The information is clear and user-friendly, so anyone from individuals to businesses to community organizations can assess waterfronts based on cleanliness, quality and access.
“This scorecard is a blueprint and brings accountability,” said New York City Council member Donovan Richards. “More importantly, it says to our city, and state, and federal partner that there is more we have to do, that we must do – to ensure that our harbor is clean, has access and is actually serving as a costal defense.”
Richards fears the repercussions of another storm like 2012’s Hurricane Sandy could be detrimental.
“We are scared that if another storm comes, that we are going to be right back where we were just in 2011, 2012,” he added. “But not only are we scared of that, we’re scared we won’t be able to pick the pieces up to rebuild our lives right after and as we still rebuild.”
It’s been almost five years since Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York and New Jersey with floods, and the Waterfront Alliance is seeking for stronger preparations in the event of another storm. More than 400,000 New York residents are faced with a 50 percent chance of major flooding before the year 2060, according the the Harbor Scorecard. Of those, 40 percent are at social or economic risk as well.
“As climate change continues to be a reality the threat of another superstorm hitting our city remains,” Council member Ben Kallos has said. “The Waterfront Alliance Harbor Scorecard will serve as a useful tool for New Yorkers to stay informed of the conditions our coastal communities are in so we are ready when the next Sandy arrives.”
Photos courtesy of Waterfront Alliance