U.S. Army Corps Suspends Key Study of NYC Storm Protections

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has stopped a multiyear study of strategies and projects meant to protect the New York City region against catastrophic storm surges and rising seas.

Environmentalists and policy makers received an email from the Corps saying that a Feb. 27 meeting had been canceled, and that work on the study had been indefinitely postponed. “Activities related to the New York New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries Study are suspended until further notice,” it said.

Planners had been looking at nature-based and engineering projects designed to protect the New York-New Jersey coast from rising seas and the costly damage that could result from a catastrophic storm, said Robert Freudenberg, vice president of energy and environment programs at the Regional Plan Association in New York.

“This is a devastating blow to our region and its ability to become resilient and defend itself against extreme storms,” Freudenberg said. “Without this we will continue to have a debate without action about which strategy to pursue. We will remain as vulnerable as we are today, with 2 million people and a multitrillion-dollar economy at risk from floods.”

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