NYC Building 5-Ft. Wall in Lower Manhattan To Battle Sea Level Rise, Stronger Storms

NEW YORK –In its ongoing battle to protect people and property against damage caused by rising sea levels and stronger storms, New York City on May 6 launched the Battery Coastal Resilience plan, as a critical component of the massive $1.7 billion Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency strategy.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the start of the $200-million component at a groundbreaking ceremony of a project that will rebuild and elevate the wharf promenade in The Battery in keeping with the character and uses of the park while protecting against projected sea level rise in the year 2100. The project is expected to be complete in 2026 and will protect the 100,000 residents, 300,000 jobs, and 12,000 businesses that call lower Manhattan home. Additionally, the project will create 400 construction jobs.

Mayor Adams also called on the federal government to create a regular, recurring source of federal funding for coastal infrastructure that would enable New York City to complete critical resiliency projects. For every $1 invested in coastal infrastructure projects, $6 is saved in recovery costs, he said. A regular, recurring funding program would help New York City more reliably access federal funding for crucial projects to protect more New Yorkers from climate change hazards, city officials stated.

“We’re building a more resilient, more sustainable city for today’s New Yorkers and for generations to come, and our coastal resiliency projects are key pieces of that work,” said Mayor Adams. “The Battery Coastal Resilience project will help protect Lower Manhattan from the stronger storms that climate change is bringing while ensuring that New Yorkers can still enjoy the beautiful green space and cultural icons that The Battery has come to be known for. We’re investing billions in green and grey infrastructure across the city to ensure that New York City is ready for whatever Mother Nature can throw at us. And because the need for these projects isn’t going away any time soon, we need the federal government to establish reliable sources of funding for key coastal resiliency work across the country.”

Led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks), and the Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice (MOCEJ), Battery Coastal Resilience—this initiative was announced in Mayor Adams’ State of the City address earlier this year.

According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), coastal New York City is experiencing higher rates of sea level rise than the global average. NPCC projects, at the higher end, 23 inches of sea level rise by the 2050s and 65 inches of sea level rise by 2100. In addition to projecting New Yorkers from that sea level rise, the project will include the reconstruction of the deteriorating wharf; the preservation and enhancement of the park’s character, gardens and community amenities; memorials and historic monuments; adaptability to future passenger ferry needs and universally accessible design principles.

Also highlighted at the press briefing was the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project, a Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency initiative led by the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) and currently under construction adjacent to the Battery Coastal Resilience site. Creating a physical tie-in with Battery Coastal Resilience, SBPCR will create an integrated coastal flood risk management system extending along the northern border of Battery Park, across Pier A Plaza, through a rebuilt Wagner Park, and to the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Under the Adams administration, the city is embarking on historic, multibillion-dollar work to fight climate hazards and advance environmental justice. The projects in The Battery are part of more than $1.7 billion in Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency climate adaptation capital investments.

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