Over the last 10 years, every county in New York State has been impacted by severe storms and flooding, tropical storms, or hurricanes. More than half were affected by 5 or more disaster events. The major federal disaster declarations for these counties totaled $37.3 billion in federal aid for recovery efforts and is projected to be as much as $55 billion for the next decade.
Rebuild by Design is working with a coalition of leaders representing various interests to alert the State of the growing need to confront the new reality of climate change. In response to the coalition's work, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature have passed the landmark $3 billion “Restore Mother Nature” Bond Act, which would provide funding for local infrastructure and environmental restoration. The bond act will now go to the voters for approval in November.
Our work is not done. As the threats from climate change increasingly impact New Yorkers, we need to:
1) Ensure the State invests in equitable long-term solutions to protect communities against climate-related flooding, and prepare our State for the future using the most up-to-date climate projections.
2) Help communities understand the costs and impacts of climate change already underway, and on the real and urgent need to limit additional climate change impacts.
3) Educate the public about the potential options and benefits ecological restoration and flood resilience will present for their individual households and communities as a whole, which include middle-class jobs, economic development, equity building, public health improvements, and more.