Piermont Waterfront Resiliency Commission

Chair- Lisa DeFeciani
Email: LDefeciani@piermont-ny.gov

Usha Wright
Sylvia Welch
Laura Straus
Nathaniel Mitchell
Klaus Jacobs

History of PWRTF and PWRC:
Piermont’s location along the banks of the Hudson River and the Sparkill Creek makes it one of the most beautiful places to live, but also poses unique challenges to the Village. Waterfront flooding, once an occasional problem for residents, will undoubtedly worsen over time due to the effects of global warming on sea level rise. The Piermont Waterfront Resilience Task Force (PWRTF) was formally launched in November 2013 to begin the work of creating a safer, more vibrant waterfront. In 2014, the Village accepted the PWRTF recommendations for a comprehensive flood and sea level rise resilience roadmap, and created a permanent Village Committee (The Piermont Waterfront Resiliency Committee) with the goal of  continuing to plan for a more resilient future for Piermont.

Village of Piermont Flood Guide:
One of the wonderful things about living in the Village of Piermont is being near the water. The Hudson River and Sparkill Creek are part of what makes the Village such a special place. But, the river and the creek put some areas of the Village at risk of flooding. Flooding is not just a problem for people who live near the water. All residents should be aware of risks and know how to find information and help when flooding occurs. Whether you live in the flood zone or not, being prepared for an emergency is important. Keep this Village of Piermont Flood Guide handy so you know where to find help if you need it.

Helping Homeowners

  • Flood Insurance Premium Reductions – Municipal participation in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Community Rating System (CRS) can lead to a reduction in premium rates for residents. Piermont is applying to participate in CRS, with an expected 10% reduction in premiums for households with flood insurance.
  • Communicating with Landowners – Decisions about whether to adapt, armor or retreat from their flood-prone property can be very difficult for landowners to consider. The Consensus Building Institute is working with residents of Piermont who live in areas that are vulnerable to flooding to discuss options for the future of their neighborhoods.

Making Wise Land Use Decisions

  • Updating the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan – The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) is administered through the NYS Department of State and provides coastal areas, including Hudson Estuary riverfront communities, with support for planning and implementing improvements on their waterfront. Climate adaptation and flood reduction strategies are encouraged as part of the LWRP process. The Village of Piermont is updating our original LWRP, which was developed in 1992, to include resilient waterfront recommendations.
  • Nature-based Solutions: Conserving Natural Landscapes – The conservation of natural landscapes, such as forests and wetlands, can help to reduce damaging floods. The Piermont Waterfront Resiliency Commission is working with NYS DEC to research the role of Piermont Marsh in protecting the village from storm surge, and to understand the threats that sea-level rise poses to the marsh’s long-term viability.
  • Hosting the Cornell University Climate Adaptive Design Studio – The Climate-Adaptive Design (CAD) Studio links Cornell students in landscape architecture with Hudson Riverfront communities to explore design alternatives for more climate resilient, beautiful and connected waterfront areas. The studio is an effort in partnership with Cornell Landscape Architecture, Cornell Water Resources Institute, the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program and the participating municipality. The CAD Studio envisioned a more resilient Piermont waterfront in the Fall of 2017. Click here to watch a video about the Climate Adaptive Design Studio.

Emergency Management

  • Creating Community Emergency Response Teams – The Community Emergency Response Team program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills. In an effort to improve emergency preparedness, Piermont has established Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). Fifteen trained volunteers are located in strategic areas around the Village, and have been provided with Emergency Response Packs. The Village is in the process of obtaining radios for each volunteer so that they can assist their neighbors during flooding or other crises.

Formalizing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

  • A Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is a written manual with elements that address all emergencies that may occur in a given municipality. Piermont is in the process of creating a written CEMP, which will compile existing response plans into a unified manual.

Becoming a Climate Smart Community

  • The New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Program is a network of New York communities engaged in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving climate resilience. Municipalities become involved with the CSC Program by adopting the CSC Pledge, which includes 10 elements that lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and provide guidance on climate change adaptation. Municipalities can opt to participate in the Climate Smart Certification Program, and can access technical support and funding opportunities to reach their certification goals.
  • The Village of Piermont has taken the CSC pledge and is planning to submit the certification application. The Village conducted a Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory and is considering additional projects to complete the certification process.

Want to see what sea-level rise looks like in your neighborhood? Visit Scenic Hudson’s Sea Level Rise Mapper  to view projected impacts.

Project Partners

This content was written by Elizabeth LoGiudice through a partnership between River Haggie Outdoors and Cornell University Water Resources Institute, with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program.