Homes on Tottenville coastline put importance of breakwaters project into focus. | Staten Island Climate Diary

Staten Island Advance: The day started in a boat yard in Laurence Harbor, New Jersey. It was the kickoff point for a trip to get a first-hand glimpse at one of the first major resiliency efforts to take shape off the coast of Staten Island: The Living Breakwaters Project.

Kevin Robinson, the project manager for Weeks Marine, the company responsible for construction, walked the visitors of the day’s trip through safety training and digital images outlining what was taking form just a few miles away off the coast of Tottenville.

The renditions, shown in a trailer of the boat yard, were familiar. So were the plans for the $107 million project — one of the plans designed to better protect the borough against extreme weather worsened by climate change.

Those images, though, began to change meaning when I boarded a small crew vessel and departed the harbor, speeding toward Staten Island’s coastline. Soon, a massive crane could be seen in the distance, surrounded by smaller structures in the water topped by excavators.

The boat swung around the back of a large construction barge serving as a monstrous track for the 100-plus foot crane, which was actively moving large stones from a barge that traveled from Upstate New York to the waters just a couple hundred feet from the borough’s shore. Read more>>