The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project
The East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) Project is a coastal protection initiative jointly funded by the city of New York and the federal government, aimed at reducing flood risk from coastal storms and sea-level rise on Manhattan’s East Side from East 25th Street to Montgomery Street. ESCR is a one-of-a-kind, forward-thinking resilience project being constructed in a dense urban environment with complex below- and above-ground infrastructure. The 2.4-mile flood protection project is intended to build physical, social, and economic resilience, strengthening the city’s coastline while improving waterfront open space and accessibility.
The boundaries of this project correspond with the natural “pinch-points” in the 100-year floodplain: areas where the land is higher along the coastline, making it easier to close the system off from water entering from the north and south. The project design integrates flood protection into the community fabric while improving waterfront access and public open space.
The ESCR Project is the first step in the city’s plan for a more extensive coastal protection system around Lower Manhattan. This project is the result of years of planning and collaboration among city, state, and federal agencies, elected officials, and the local community, which has been enabled by a $338 million federal grant to fund design and construction, with the remainder of the project's $1.45 billion total cost funded by the city of New York. The city has worked with community partners and residents to identify the best ways to meet the many challenges caused by the climate crisis, including sea level rise and more frequent, intense storms.
This tour will introduce people to portions of the project that are already completed and phases under construction in a “hard hat” tour led by DDC and the design team. Construction on the project began fall 2020 and will continue through 2026.
This tour will also visit the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resilience Project. Lower Manhattan is at the core of New York City’s transportation system, economy, and civic life. Millions of people travel through this area by rail, bus, car, and ferry every day, and the residential population has increased by 170 percent in the last two decades. By the 2040s, Lower Manhattan’s shoreline will begin to experience frequent tidal flooding from seal level rise, impacting streets, sidewalks, buildings, and critical infrastructure. Failure to act now will render much of this area unusable, leading to the loss of Lower Manhattan as we know it today. The Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) Project is an integrated coastal protection initiative to reduce flood risk from coastal storms and sea level rise. The city, state, and federal government have committed over $1.7 billion in capital investments for climate adaptation projects.
The Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Plan will complete this comprehensive flood defense strategy by providing protection along the one-mile stretch of waterfront between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Battery. The plan features a multilevel waterfront that extends into the East River and will provide protection against both sea level rise and severe storms. This plan reflects a shared City-community vision to protect the area from climate change, while providing new universally accessible public open spaces, resilient ferry terminals and piers, and space for habitat restoration. When implemented, the Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Plan is expected to prevent $11 billion in economic losses to the city and region.