Staten Island
Source: NY State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery

During the late 1800s, the southern tip of Staten Island bustled with oyster fisherman and shipyards. Now, that once vibrant shore faces serious threats.

Over time, dredging, heavy waves, and storms have eroded the shoreline. In 2012, the area was especially hard hit during Superstorm Sandy.

Brashear: “You saw not only storm surge flooding damage but really a lot of damage from heavy wave action.”

That’s Pippa Brashear of Scape Landscape Architecture. She says as severe weather increases, the shrinking coastline will become even more vulnerable. So to help protect it, her firm created the “Living Breakwaters” project.

Learn how NY's Staten Island is protecting its coastline and creating ocean habitat. Click To Tweet

The plan is to install a string of rocky sloped walls several hundred feet from shore. They will reduce wave impact, decrease erosion, and create marine habitat.

Brashear says the project will be implemented by the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, and it includes community involvement. Schools will help monitor sea life on the breakwaters, and beach signs will explain why the project was needed.

Brashear: “It’s really important that people historically very connected to the water maintain that connection and awareness of the changing environment.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

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