Piermont Waterfront Resiliency Commission
Chair- Nathan Mitchell
Members: Usha Wright, Sylvia Welch, Laura Straus, Klaus Jacobs
The Piermont Waterfront Resilience Task Force (PWRTF) was launched after Superstorm Sandy in November 2013 to begin the work of creating a more resilient waterfront. Based on the resilience roadmap outlined by the Task Force, in 2014 the Village created a permanent Village Commission (Piermont Waterfront Resiliency Commission) with the goal of continuing to inform residents and plan for, fund, and build a more resilient future for Piermont.
Supporting the Community
Becoming a Climate Smart Community
The Village of Piermont has been certified as a Bronze Climate Smart Community and NYSERDA Clean Energy Community, thanks to the efforts of the PWRC and the Sustainable Piermont team, established in 2018.
PWRC has established 2 annual community meetings to share updates on their work and the science of sea level rise. Each autumn around the time of Sandy, an evening meeting is held at Village Hall, and each spring a weekend daytime event is held at the Goswick Pavilion. Attendees learn of new developments in SLR modelling, the progress that the community has made on addressing flood risks and are informed about steps residents can take to be better prepared for emergencies. The October 2019 event is scheduled for 7PM 10/29, at Village Hall.
Decisions about whether to adapt, armor or retreat from their flood-prone property can be very difficult for landowners to consider. Working with partners from CBI, Scenic Hudson, and DEC, PWRC has developed an innovative outreach program called the Neighborhood Liaisons project. By training a few dedicated individuals in each neighborhood with a shared flood risk profile to facilitate challenging conversations with their neighbors about coping with and overcoming flooding, we hope to create an ongoing dialog in each neighborhood about short and long term mitigations.
Village of Piermont Flood Guide and Topo Map:
The PWRC created a 3D topographical map of the village, including structures and ABFE information that is on display at Village Hall, and a flood guide detailing evacuation routes and safe parking areas.
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.
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 completed an update of our original LWRP, which was developed in 1992, to include resilient waterfront recommendations.
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.
Hosting the City College of New York School of Architecture Design Studio – The 2018 City College of New York project partners Piermont and the City College School of Architecture in exploring relocation and land swap options to adapt to changing sea levels and should be completed in early 2019.
Nature-based Solutions: Conserving Natural Landscapes – The conservation of natural landscapes, such as forests and wetlands, can help to reduce damaging floods. Recent studies have shown that marsh vegetation can reduce wave height and energy by more than 60%. The HDR living shoreline design project aims to conceptualize a buffer on the north side of the pier, and grew out of the CAD studio work done in previous years.
Neighbor to Neighbor Alert System – The Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) Alert System helps community members to communicate during emergencies and check in on neighbors to ensure that everyone stays safe. The PWRC invites residents to enroll in the Piermont N2N Alert System. Residents can volunteer to be an N2N Team Leader, who helps people in their neighborhood to be aware of, prepare for and communicate during emergencies. Team Leaders check in on neighbors to ensure their safety and informs first responders of local conditions and hazards. Residents can also register for a check-in during an emergency, and to let Team Leaders and first responders know about any special needs of family members. Sign up online here or at Village Hall.
Want to see what sea-level rise looks like in your neighborhood? Visit Scenic Hudson’s Sea Level Rise Mapper at http://scenichudson.org/slr/mapper to view projected impacts, or come down to Village Hall to find your house on our Topo map!