Kingston Waterfront Flooding Task Force: A Case Study for Community-driven Flooding Adaptation


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Extreme weather is becoming more common in our region. Flood events can impact human health and safety, and result in substantial costs to property and infrastructure. Geared toward municipal decision makers and concerned citizens, this forum provides on-the-ground examples of flood resilience strategies that can help Hudson Valley communities minimize risks while conserving financial resources.

Presentation by Gregg Swanzey, Director of the Office of Economic Development and Strategic Partnerships, City of Kingston and Libby Murphy, Climate Outreach Specialist,
Hudson River Estuary Program, NYSDEC for a flood management forum hosted by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY on May 4, 2013.

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  • Now I will take you through a case study of how one community is looking at building its resilience through adapting to flooding.
  • Hurricanes Irene and Sandy focused our attention on flooding risks in NYS. Right here in Kingston we have serious flooding risks along the waterfront. Here is a photo from Irene, you can see the maritime museum and the steelhouse.Point out Rondout, HR, street. Not just riverfront but waterfront. Applies to tributary communities.
  • So what they done is create a Flooding Task Force, which comprises a diverse group of stakeholders, residents, business owners, developers, to develop a vision and strategy to protect the future of their waterfront community. The HREP has partnered with SH, CBI, DEC OOCC and DOS to assist in this process. Our job is to educate the TF on the hazards and lead them through a process of analyzing the risk and finding solutions.Community-drivenUsing various tools: participatory mapping, DOS, CBA
  • Once they understand the risks they can start to imagine solutions. In general, you can think of three overarching adaptation routes: you can protect, accommodate, or retreat. Which strategies you choose will be determined by the values and goals of your community. Think about issues like economic development, recreation, security and ecological resources.
  • Protecting means building hard barriers between you and the water. This has been the majority of our flooding solutions in the past. The problem is, they only protect up to a certain point and can lead to a false sense of security. This is a levee in NOLA.Is this really Beacon?
  • Accommodate means living with the water and reducing its impact. Here is an example of a permeable park that allows water storage and inundation. On the right is the riverwalk in Tarrytown that is designed to flood but also allows for human enjoyment and recreation along the river.
  • This is an example of flooding accommodation right here in Kingston.
  • Finally, there is strategic retreat where people move built spaces out of the high risk flood zones. This is happening now in Staten Island where whole communities are accepting buyouts to relocate.Is that pic from Cold Spring?
  • This is the same stretch of buildings as in the CBA model
  • Bulkhead. Expensive, may eventually be overtopped
  • Vegetated revetment, floodproofed buildings.
  • You can imagine a scenario where damage has become so costly and repetitive that relocation makes economic sense. Notice higher elevation homes in the back. This can still become a recreational destination and provide economic benefits.
  • One tool is mapping. Here is a map of the flood risk areas in Kingston and how they will increase over time. This map was made by SH.The dark areas show what will be submerged first, with lower SLRYellow shows 100 yr floodplainsPoint out WWTPSH is creating a webviewer of all communities on the HR
  • Results of Participatory Mapping, tells a story.
  • Scenario: damage today from 100-yr flood. Remember, Sandy was worse than the 100-yr storm.This tool uses the DDF – depth damage function from Army Corps, takes historical insurance data by building type.Remember, this is GoogleEarth so we’re looking at building roofs.We would expect that the buildings and parks nearer the water be more damaged. Not surprising that a parking lot farther back has relatively low damage.
  • We are also using a CB tool called COAST. This is a worse-case scenario for Kingston. This shows the damage from future SLR and Storms in 2100.Can anybody guess what the tower is?You can see that the cumulative damage from now until 2100 is well over $100M. Think about the value of being able to quantify this. This is one way to get people to act, show them how much we have to loose.
  • These are also concerns for tributary communities.RHR info?Three reports, climAID chapter on waterClimate Smart CommunitiesFree CanVIS software from NOAARevitalizing Hudson RiverfrontsTool by SH
  • Check to see if you community has taken the CSC pledge. This will provide tech assist and funding in the future.
  • Check out these three reports! They’re free online
  • Read through the recommendations outlined in RHR from SH. Excellent resource.Talk to HREP for guidance on stormwater management, climate adaptation, biodiversity resilience and more!Download the CanVIS free visualization tool by NOAA. Also there is going to be a SLR webviewer for the HR communities by SH that will be up soon.
  • Talk to HREP for guidance and opportunities on stormwater management, climate adaptation, biodiversity resilience and more!
  • Kingston Waterfront Flooding Task Force: A Case Study for Community-driven Flooding Adaptation

    1. 1. Kingston Waterfront Flooding TaskForce:Libby Murphy Gregg SwanzeyHudson River Estuary Program/Cornell WRI Economic Development, City of KingstonA case study for community-driven flooding adaptation.
    2. 2. Outline• The Hudson River Estuary Program• Case Study: Kingston Waterfront Flooding Task Force• What can you do?• Municipal perspective from Gregg Swanzey• Wrap up• Questions
    3. 3. Hudson River EstuaryProgramCore Mission• Ensure clean water• Protect and restore fish, wildlife, and theirhabitats• Provide water recreation and river access• Adapt to climate change• Conserve world-famous scenery
    4. 4. Climate Change & The Hudson River EstuaryProgram• Climate Smart Communities• Flooding Task Forces• Watershed Resiliency• Watershed planning• Green infrastructure• Assessing culverts for correct sizing• Assessing dams for removal or repair• Trees for Tribs (stream buffer restoration)• Biodiversity Resiliency
    5. 5. Kingston Flooding TaskForceCase Study
    6. 6. Current situation
    7. 7. Community-driven process
    8. 8. Flooding AdaptationStrategies•Fortify•Accommodate•Strategically Relocate
    9. 9. FortifyLevee, New Orleans, LA Seawall, Beacon, NY
    10. 10. Elevated structures with floodgates, Hamburg, GermanyAccommodateFloodable park concept, NYC
    11. 11. Steelhouse restaurant, Kingston, NYLocal example of accommodation
    12. 12. Strategic RelocationNatural shoreline with gazebo, ColdSpringWetland with walkwayconcept, Toronto, Canada
    13. 13. Simulations
    14. 14. Kingston waterfront low tideE Strand in Kingston
    15. 15. Kingston waterfrontSimulation: elevated sea level (4’) at low tide4’ of Sea Level Rise
    16. 16. Kingston waterfrontSimulation: elevated sea level (low tide), armored protectionExample of Fortify
    17. 17. Kingston waterfrontSimulation: elevated sea level (low tide), vegetatedrevetment, floodproofed buildingsExample of Accommodate
    18. 18. Kingston waterfrontSimulation: elevated sea level (low tide), strategic retreatExample of Strategic Relocation
    19. 19. TF uses a variety of tools to reachconsensus:•Participatory mapping•Surveys•Dot voting•Vulnerability and risk assessments•Cost Benefit Analysis•CSC planning assessment
    20. 20. Flood risk maps
    21. 21. Participatory Mapping
    22. 22. Scenario: damage from a 100-yr (1%)storm in 2013 with no sea level rise.Cost benefit toolScenario: damage from a 100-yr (1%)storm in 2100 with high sea level rise.
    23. 23. Worse case scenarioYear 2100, With High Sea Level Rise and a 100-year Storm1% Probability of Occurrence in Any Given YearTotal Damage for this Event: $39.9 MillionDamage to Wastewater Treatment Plant: $27.6 Million• Lost Value Due to Sea Level Rise• Lost Value Due to Sea Level Rise + Storm SurgeCumulative Expected Damages by 2100With High Sea Level Rise = $126 Million
    24. 24. What can you do?
    25. 25. NYS 2100 Commission Report(2012)NYS Sea Level Rise Task ForceReport (2010)Responding to Climate Changein NYS / ClimAID (2011)
    26. 26. What else can you do?• Stay in touch with the Hudson River Estuary Program• CanVIS free visualization tool by NOAA• Sea level rise webviewer, Hudson River, by Scenic Hudson(coming soon)• Check out the new Climate Adaptation page on the DEC website(coming soon)
    27. 27. Sandy and Irene: two differentstorms• Irene: extreme rain event• Sandy: extreme storm surge at height of spring tide• The Perfect Storm? Irene plus Sandy
    28. 28. Flooding Impacts on the KingstonWaterfront• Sewage Treatment Plant• Marinas and other water dependent uses• Adjacent Businesses• Residential Areas• Parks and other amenities• Structures in the Waterways
    29. 29. What can municipalities do?•Assess and manage stormwater•Build community awareness and consensus•Plan for the future•Evaluate Zoning and Code•Work closely with developers and residents
    30. 30. Planning for the future inKingston• Kingston Comprehensive Master Plan• Local Waterfront Revitalization Program• Waterfront Development Implementation Plan• Stormwater Management Plan• Tidal Rondout Watershed Management Plan• Brownfield Opportunity Area and 70 acre GEIS• Kingston Waterfront Flooding Task Force• Hazard Mitigation strategies
    31. 31. Funding Mechanisms• Consolidated Funding Application Process• Department of Environmental Conservation• Department of State• Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation• US DOC Economic Development Administration• US DHS FEMA & Hazard Mitigation Funding• USDA• HUD Community Development Block Grants & Low interest loans• Greenway Conservancy• Local Development Corporations & Private Financing
    32. 32. Other important activities• Kingston Conservation Advisory Council• Climate Smart Community• Climate Action Plan• Natural Resources Inventory• Open Space Plan• Work with Planning Board
    33. 33. Wrap Up• Hudson River Estuary Program• Kingston Waterfront FloodingTask Force• Municipal perspective• What you can do
    34. 34. Questions?Thank you.Libby Murphy Gregg SwanzeyHudson River Estuary Program Kingston Economic Development(845) 256-3016 (845)