Resiliency Efforts on the Shores of Staten Island

Coastal and Social Resiliency Initiatives for Tottenville Shoreline


Coastal and Social Resiliency Initiatives for Tottenville Shoreline


Staten Island, NY


Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery

AKRF is providing environmental review for the Living Breakwaters project and the Tottenville Dune project, two initiatives intended to enhance coastal and social resiliency along the Tottenville shoreline of Staten Island, NY.

As on-call consultant to the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, AKRF is preparing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for these projects in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

This EIS will include an evaluation of how the projects will help the area adapt to the potential effects of climate change under the 2015 draft guidance for NEPA projects from the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), as well as the existing New York State policies and regulations.

One of the key components of the Breakwaters project is an ecologically enhanced breakwater system that will reduce wave energy at the shoreline, and prevent or reverse shoreline erosion. The breakwater would also increase habitat diversity within Raritan Bay by providing shelter for juvenile fish and increasing biological recruitment of filter-feeding organisms such as mussels and oysters.

A proposed community Water Hub would provide a place for access to the waterfront, and engage Staten Island schools in waterfront education and long-term estuary stewardship.

The Tottenville Dune project was conceived through the NY Rising planning process, and would include new dunes and dune plantings as a coastal resiliency strategy for the Tottenville area. The breakwaters would work in concert with the on-shore dune system as one integrated initiative to provide greater overall coastal risk reduction and promote social resilience.

Both projects are being funded through New York State’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program. In addition, the Living Breakwaters project is one of six winners of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rebuild by Design Competition, which addresses the structural and social vulnerabilities exposed by Superstorm Sandy. (AKRF is also leading project efforts on another winner of the HUD competition, East Side Coastal Resiliency.)

Climate Change Overview