Scientists and engineers are increasingly recognizing the need for broad research initiatives to more fully explore the advantages and disadvantages of large storm surge barriers. These barriers are one option for defending against extreme storms, and are currently being considered in the New York metropolitan area, which has highly valuable and vulnerable coastal infrastructure. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, states of New York and New Jersey, and New York City have partnered to conduct the Harbor and Tributaries Focus Area Feasibility Study to evaluate barriers and other options to manage coastal storm risks. Since a surge barrier could have significant impacts on the Hudson River and surrounding estuary ecosystem, the Hudson River Reserve and partners formed a Barrier Benefits and Impacts Workgroup in December of 2017 with the goal of helping review and supplement the Corps’ feasibility study and Environmental Impact Assessment.
A 2018 Catalyst project is extending the existing Workgroup’s effort and facilitating the development of a collaborative research agenda to address current information needs. The project team will conduct modeling and analyses of the physical influences of surge barriers and host a series of workshops to synthesize and share information. This factsheet describes the project approach, anticipated benefits, anticipated products, and targeted end users.