Sandy’s peak storm tide on the East Shore of Staten Island reached 16 feet, compared to 11.1 feet at Manhattan’s Battery. Where sea walls failed under surge in this and past storms, new solutions are sought. Selected areas are too low to be made safe, but retreat from the water is not necessary or desirable.
Geomorphology on this 5-mile long coastal plain lends itself to an integrated solution. Low ground and creek beds can be reshaped and armored with strategically placed mounds that support new homes, habitat, recreation, and movement. Integration of earthwork and buildings makes it possible to increase flood protection and maintain economy. Levees and green infrastructure can minimize the number of existing buildings that must be elevated. The East Shore’s diverse conditions offer the potential to demonstrate the power of multiplying options under consideration to create value as well as protection.