The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering the construction of colossal storm surge barriers across New York Harbor and the mouth of the Hudson River. These giant ocean gates could permanently damage the life in the Hudson, cost endless billions of dollars, and still leave communities vulnerable to daily flooding from sea level rise. New York State is a partner in these decisions – and yet it has been utterly silent. Help us call on Governor Andrew Cuomo and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos to reject the ill-conceived storm surge barriers and insist on comprehensive solutions that address both storm surge and sea level rise flooding. The stakes could not be higher. New York State taxpayers will end up paying billions toward construction, operation, and maintenance if storm surge barriers are built.New York and New Jersey are already paying millions toward the New York - New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study now under way.And no matter which design is selected, non-federal partners such as New York, New Jersey, and New York City, would share 35 percent of the cost of construction. The most expensive option under consideration, calling for a giant barrier from Sandy Hook, N.J., to Breezy Point, Queens, is estimated to cost $119 billion to build and maintain. We would be building the largest storm surge barrier the world has ever seen. Does New York have that kind of money to spend on a barrier that would do nothing whatsoever to prevent flooding from sea level rise?After a barrier is finally built – the Corps estimates construction time at 25 years for the Sandy Hook barrier – New Yorkers could be stuck with billions of dollars of operation, maintenance and repair costs, unless Congress decides to assist with federal money.Why isn’t New York taking a stand? Or even engaging in the public discussion? Or, at the very least, helping residents become informed?The Army Corps is on course to choose a preferred plan by early 2020 with hardly any consideration of the drastic environmental consequences that could affect the entire Hudson!New York must do what the federal government cannot, or will not, do. It must seek out solutions to address sea level rise flooding, not just storm surge flooding. It must use the environmental laws and regulations at its disposal to protect the Hudson from permanent harm. And in the shorter term, it absolutely must inform, educate and engage the public – all New Yorkers – about the study and what’s at stake.Join us in calling on state leaders to ask for their help and demand a better approach – we need plans that address both storm surge and sea level rise in a way that protects our communities and the environment while allowing our rivers to run free. Write to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Commissioner Seggos and tell them New Yorkers are counting on them to protect the Hudson and our communities.
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Dear: [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]