According to the de Blasio administration, “major progress” has been made on the city’s “first comprehensive coastal protection plan” for 520 miles of coastline. The announcement comes on Earth Day, and shortly after the U.N.’s release of new data on the mounting impacts of climate change.
The city said that 1.2 million cubic yards of sand have been deposited as beach replenishment on the Rockaway peninsula, Coney Island, and Staten Island, “with another 2.9 million cubic yards on track to be placed this year.”
Today’s announcement is part of a progress report on the city’s efforts to prepare New York City for the impacts of climate change, and to generally make the Big Apple more environmentally sustainable.
The de Blasio administration says it is “continuing and expanding on the work of the Bloomberg administration.”
According to the city, other signs of progress on climate resiliency include:
- “Securing reforms to the national flood insurance program to keep insurance available and affordable for New Yorkers.
- Upgrading city building code and operations to protect buildings in the floodplain against floods, wind, and prolonged power outages through 17 local laws that have passed the City Council.
- Settling a multi-year rate case for electricity, steam, and natural gas to hold ConEd delivery costs flat for the coming years, while requiring the utility to make resilient investments in its facilities to protect against future extreme weather.
- Expanding efforts to ensure that post-Sandy rebuilding and hazard mitigation efforts lead to economic opportunities for all New Yorkers.”
A More Sustainable City?
The city’s report also includes updates on long-term efforts to shrink New York City’s carbon footprint, prepare for a million new residents, and generally reduce the waste produced and the energy resources consumed by the five boroughs.
These objectives are part of the city’s long-term sustainability “blueprint,” PlaNYC, created by the Bloomberg administration.
The de Blasio administration says that progress over the last year includes:
- “Accelerating energy efficiency improvements by expanding the NYC Carbon Challenge to include multifamily buildings.
- The cleanest New York City air in 50 years thanks to air quality programs like NYC Clean Heat, which supports building owners converting to cleaner sources of energy.
- A reduction in citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 19 percent since 2005, two-thirds of the way to the goal of a 30 percent reduction by 2030.
- Moving forward a solar energy system that will increase the city’s renewable energy capacity by 50 percent, on the former Fresh Kills landfill site on Staten Island.
- 500 brownfield sites cleaned up, 70 percent of which are in underserved communities, which will also enable new affordable housing and create thousands of new jobs in the process. The city launched the Affordable Housing Cleanup Fund to specifically promote affordable and supportive housing projects as part of the brownfield cleanup program.
- Launched the Food Waste Challenge to divert organic waste from landills, reducing waste by 2,500 tons in the last six months.”