Blog #4 Rising Waters:Implications and Actions

As Professor Angelo Spillo and I begin to conclude our research, we are thrilled with the progress we have made this far. Rising Waters: Implications and Actions is a project serving us well that has opened our eyes to the vulnerability that the southern New York coastal region is exposed to.

This research project focused briefly on the coastal municipalities of Westchester County and mainly the coast of New York City, two very highly populated areas in New York. Several months ago when we were roughly half way through our research, there were many municipalities in Westchester County that professor Spillo and I had reached out to in hopes of determining their plans to protect the coastline from rising waters. At this point in our research we have received feedback from most of the municipalities that we originally reached out to, which brings us much closer to the overall status of Westchester County.

Our Current status of New York City’s plans to defend against rising waters remains as thorough research. We stated in our last blog that former Mayor Bloomberg had proposed a $19.5 billion plan to protect New York City against rising waters and higher intensity storms and also that we were in the process of sending the current Mayor, Bill de Blasio a letter explaining our research and asking a few questions about the plan to help us further our research. This letter has not been responded to as of this time although we hope we will receive a response in the future. We are understanding of his and his representatives positions and the great responsibility they face, therefore we have done extensive research on any and all plans that exist or are being proposed to help mitigate and/or prevent the damage that rising waters will create.


Currently in New York City, Bloomberg’s nearly $20 Billion plan is not the only plan set in motion to address this issue of rising waters as professor Spillo and I have uncovered additional projects as well. Resilient Neighborhoods is a project where the Department of City Planning will work with communities to help them withstand and recover from future storms and climate events. The 2014 Hazard Mitigation Plan will identify and assess risks from disasters and provide strategies to reduce their impacts. Sustainable Communities Climate Resilience Studies has provided ways to help NYC and other urban waterfront communities to improve their resilience to coastal flood risks and promote livable, sustainable neighborhoods.  In addition to these three projects, also in action are the Flood Resilience Zoning Text Amendment, The NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, The Waterfront Revitalization Program, DCP Green Initiatives and more.


At this point in our research, as we begin to gather our findings, professor Angelo Spillo and I believe we have of course learned a lot, but we also believe that we have encountered many dead ends, many successes and at times weren’t sure the best way to approach our dilemmas. We are very pleased with our progress so far and we are also very excited to present it at the showcase in May, however I have realized that conducting extensive research about a major topic can have its road bumps. Granted the result of this project is the major winner, I have still learned that conducting research takes time and requires change of direction in many cases. For example, we were not able to receive direct feedback in several situations as we had planned, making it difficult to further our research. However, we still were able to figure out a way to advance our findings and make our research work wonderfully. I believe this research has impacted me in a completely positive way. Even when we had to come up with solutions to our problems, this experience was nothing but beneficial to me. Whether it was evolving my skills, working with a great mentor, or just simply learning the topic and the process of conducting research, I am grateful for the experience and all that came with it.


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