What Climate Risks Mean for NYC’s Food Supply

To feed its 8.5 million residents, New York City relies on an interconnected food supply chain clustered around just six major distribution centers—the largest of which are located in flood hazard zones. 

New York City’s major food distribution clusters include Hunts Point, College Point and Sunset Park. Hunts Point Food Distribution Center is the largest, producing 4.5 billion pounds of food each year, roughly half of which remains in New York City.

Flanked by the East River on two sides and the Bronx River on the third, the Hunts Point distribution center—located in a low-lying peninsula, as well as in the 100-year floodplain according to FEMA’s Preliminary Work Maps—is increasingly vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events.

Sunset Park’s location also makes it vulnerable. According to the Regional Plan Association report “Under Water: How Sea Level Rise Threatens the Tri-State,” the industrial areas of Sunset Park, as well as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, could face permanent flooding if sea levels continue to rise.

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