Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency

Last Updated September 13, 2019

Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) is the City’s plan to adapt Lower Manhattan to climate change, for this generation and the next.

Protecting Against the Worst 

Climate change is the greatest threat New York City faces today. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, flooding 17% of the city’s land, and claiming 44 lives. In Lower Manhattan alone, the impact of Hurricane Sandy was devastating, causing two deaths, damaging thousands of homes and interrupting a critical transportation hub.  

Since then, the scientific community has reached consensus that, absent significant action, climate change will have devastating consequences at a faster rate than previously thought. Sea level rise, based on current projections, will submerge parts of Lower Manhattan on a regular basis in this generation and put critical infrastructure and jobs serving all of New York City and the region at risk. This includes our subway and ferry network, our sewer system, 10% of the city’s jobs, and many historic, cultural and community assets.  

That’s why the City is taking bold, significant action, investing $500 million in climate adaptation projects to protect Lower Manhattan now, as well as planning for long-term climate adaptation to meet the challenges of tomorrow. 

Download the LMCR Brochure

A Plan for Action 

This plan for the area came into focus In March 2019, when the City released the Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study, a comprehensive look at current and future climate risks and impacts on Lower Manhattan.  

Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study

Download the Study

The study assessed a broad range of climate hazards, including: 

  • Chronic Conditions, including sea level rise, groundwater table rise, and tidal inundation
  • Climate Events, including storm surge, extreme precipitation, and heat waves 
  • By the 2050s, 37 percent of buildings in Lower Manhattan will be at risk from storm surge  
  • By 2100, almost 50 percent of buildings will be at risk from storm surge, and 20 percent of Lower Manhattan’s streets will be at risk of daily flooding due to over six feet of projected sea level rise 
  • Groundwater table rise is projected to put 7 percent of buildings at risk of destabilization and expose 39 percent of streets with underground utilities to corrosion and water infiltration 

From the findings of the study, the City identified permanent adaptation projects and developed an overall strategy for the climate resilience of Lower Manhattan. These projects will protect 70% of Lower Manhattan’s coastline and will all be in construction by 2021. 

LMCR Strategy

What’s Next? 

Over the next two years, we will work with the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency (MOR) to complete The Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan, which will focus on closing a gap in climate protection for the area in the long-term. These neighborhoods represent a unique convergence of high climate risk and few adaptation options due to a waterfront that lacks the physical space needed to implement most large-scale adaptation projects. Due to these conditions, the City is planning to extend the shoreline with an in-water barrier, so that we have the space to integrate the protection we need. In partnership with the communities of Lower Manhattan, EDC and MOR will develop a comprehensive design and implementation for the shoreline extension, to ensure that we secure the future of Lower Manhattan and New York City. 

Beginning in spring 2019, the City began a robust community process to discuss the study, its strategies, dedicated investments, and further planning. Each of the advancing capital projects as well as the master plan will have its own community and public engagement process. 

Upcoming Meetings

  • September 21, 10 am-1 pm: LMCR Office Hours, at the Go Fish! Festival at Wagner Park
  • September 26, 6 pm: Battery Park City Ball Fields Resiliency Meeting
    Location: 6 River Terrace

  • October 2, 6-8 pm: BK Bridge-Montgomery Coastal Resiliency Public Meeting, P.S. 2 Meyer London
  • October 3, 6 pm: Manhattan Community Board 1 Environmental Committee Meeting, location TBD
  • October 4, 3:30-6 pm: LMCR Office Hours, at Bowling Green (in front of the National Museum of the American Indian)
  • October 18, 3:30-6 pm: LMCR Office Hours, at Pier 35
  • October 25, 3:30-6 pm: LMCR Office Hours, at the Battery (between the Sea Glass Carousel and Battery Gardens)

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