Helping Hudson Valley Communities Prepare and Plan for a Changing Climate

Prized by residents and visitors for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities, the Hudson River also generates some unease. As climate change causes seas to rise and storms to intensify, coastline flooding along the Hudson has become a concern for many communities. Roads, homes, wastewater systems are all vulnerable, while our natural defenses–wetlands and marshes–are disappearing due to coastal development.

You’ve seen the devastating impacts of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and they only reinforce this urgency. The impacts New York suffered from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee are compelling communities across the state to act.

Community Resilience Building Workshop

Through our Community Resilience Building Workshop, The Nature Conservancy guides communities on how to build resilience–determining hazards, assessing strengths and vulnerabilities, and finally, identifying and prioritizing actions that will reduce their risks. The process brings together community stakeholders–elected officials, business owners, municipal officials, emergency teams, and planners to develop a resilience action plan. Many shoreline communities have benefited from our workshops and in the Hudson Valley, we have already led successful community-driven workshops in Hudson, Haverstraws, and Peekskill and Cortlandt.

The workshop starts with visualizations of the current situation to help communities better understand and evaluate how different climate change scenarios are likely to impact them. Using a suite of tools backed by the best available science–Natural Resource Navigator, Sea Level Rise Mapper, and the Hudson River Flood Decision Support Tool–we enable community members to identify a suite of solutions that can reduce their risks, increase community safety, and maximize the benefits that nature provides.

With a collective understanding of top hazards, existing strengths and vulnerabilities, and a prioritized list of actions to improve resilience over time, communities are better prepared for the challenges posed by a changing climate.

Interested in holding a Community Resilience Workshop in your community? Contact Dr. Andrew Peck, Freshwater Conservation Project Manager at apeck@tnc.org or 845-255-9051.

 

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