Resiliency Planning in Jamaica Bay

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
CM | 3.50
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You'll learn about:

  • Different approaches to resiliency planning in Jamaica Bay from speakers who are working on this topic from an environmental, engineering, landscape, land use and land management perspective at the City, State, Federal and research level.
  • Adapting historic resources and infrastructure for resiliency and future storm events
  • Challenges of a National Park Service site within context of New York City
  • Connect planning concepts to place by experiencing the Bay on water.
  • Explore the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay's research vessel, a newly commissioned catamaran designed to navigate the shallow waters of the Bay with a hybrid engine and multifunctional programming space.

Jamaica Bay is home to over 5 million people and provides 10,000 acres of parklands to over 3 million visitors annually. It also provides habitat for over 400 plant and animal species. The Bay has experienced significant historical disturbance and concentrated impacts from coastal hazards.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Jamaica Bay has been at the forefront of resiliency planning discussions and efforts, across multiple Federal, State, and New York City agencies, to address climate change and the prospect of increased storm events.

The National Park Service, Gateway National Recreation Area, will lead a discussion on resiliency planning efforts within Jamaica Bay, with their partners the Army Corps of Engineers, New York State Department of Environment Conservation, and New York City, through a unique water tour from Manhattan to Jamaica Bay.

The National Park Service will discuss the specific challenges of a coastal National Park Service site within the context of New York City, including adapting historic resources and infrastructure to be resilient to future storm events and partnering with multiple government agencies to meet overarching resiliency objectives.

Several National Park Service projects will be highlighted, including the Fort Tilden Shore Access and Resiliency project, Jacob Riis Bathhouse, planning for the future of the Penn and Fountain Avenue landfills, and planning efforts within the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

The Army Corps of Engineers will lead a discussion on their Reformulation study for Jamaica Bay; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will discuss the Spring Creek Storm Resilience and Ecosystem Restoration project; and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will discuss their planning efforts in Jamaica Bay. Additionally, the Department of City Planning will discuss use and zoning strategies to build more resilient neighborhoods; landscape architect and professor Catherine Seavitt will share a concept plan to develop atoll terraces through sediment capture via the natural processes of an “island motor”; and the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay will discuss their role in bridging knowledge across the academic-government-community spectrum. The program of presentations, while specific to Jamaica Bay, will prompt group discussion about common planning challenges in coastal cities. 

Meanwhile, participants will be able to explore the research vessel, a newly commissioned catamaran designed specifically to navigate the shallow waters of the Bay, and outfitted with a hybrid propulsion system, wet and dry research labs, and state-of-the-art classroom equipment.


Peter Weppler , U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NY District , New York , NY (see bio)
Catherine Seavitt , City College of New York , New York , NY
Jessica Fain , AICP , Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay , Brooklyn , NY (see bio)
Mary Kimball , NYC Dept of City Planning , New York , NY (see bio)
Joshua Laird , National Park Service , New York , NY (see bio)
John McLaughlin , NYC Environmental Protection , New York , NY
Joanna Field , New York State Department of Environmental Conservation , Long Island City , NY