Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting December 3, 2014, 9:30 am-‐2:00 pm NYSDEC Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve Norrie Point Environmental Center, Staatsburg, NY 12580 MEETING SUMMARY Present: Kristen Cady-‐Sawyer (NYS OPRHP) Brian DeGasperis (NYSDEC – HRNERR) Fran Dunwell (NYSDEC – HREP) Jamie Ethier (NYS Department of State) Sarah Fernald (NYSDEC – HRNERR) Ben Ganon (NYSDEC) Heather Gierloff (NYSDEC) Rick Gilbert (BlueShore Engineering) Lisa Graichen (NYSDEC/ UNH TIDES) Sven Hoeger (Creative Habitat Corp.) Nordica Holochuck (New York Sea Grant) Jennifer Horton (NYSDEC) Caroline LaBarbiera (NYSDOS) Greg Lampman (NYSERDA) Ed Levine (NOAA Office of Response and Restoration) Mark Lowery (NYSDEC) Sean Madden (NYSDEC)
Werner Mueller (HDR) Bill Ottaway (NYSDEC) Christine Piwonka Bernstein (FEMA, for Megan Jadrosich) Sacha Spector (Scenic Hudson) Bill Shadel (American Littoral Society) Peter Weppler (USACE) Coordinating Team Betsy Blair (NYSDEC – HRNERR) Ona Ferguson (Consensus Building Institute) Stuart Findlay (Cary Institute) Emilie Hauser (NYSDEC – HRNERR) Kristin Marcell (NYS DEC – HREP) Dan Miller (NYS DEC – HREP and HRNERR) Andrew Rella (Stevens Institute of Technology) Eric Roberts (Consensus Building Institute) David Strayer (Cary Institute)
Executive Summary The Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project (HRSSP) Advisory Committee met in December 2014 to review and discuss work completed during the project, share how the committee members are using or plan to use project results, and discuss areas for potential future collaboration. Project results and data can be found at https://www.hrnerr.org/hudson-‐river-‐sustainable-‐shorelines/. The HRSSP project team developed ecology and engineering tools and data and a set of demonstration projects that exhibit the ecological and engineering principles of sustainable shorelines. The ecological tools and data from the project will help shoreline managers better understand and assess the ecology of their shorelines. The engineering data and tools will help shoreline managers understand the physical forces that impact their shorelines, the variety of treatment options available to manage shorelines, and the general relative costs associated with shoreline treatments. The case studies of existing demonstration sites and designs for new sites are instrumental in helping users see how these ecologically enhanced shorelines perform. The team has also delivered several trainings to engineers and state agency employees to teach participants how to apply the tools and data. Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014
Advisory committee members described their plans to use project products and resources, including the website, for a variety of purposes. State agency staff have or will incorporate the information produced by the project into guidance documents for the Community Risk and Resiliency Act, the Climate Smart Communities program, and environmental remediation and restoration plans. Regulators do and will use the information to encourage permit applicants to propose shoreline stabilization methods that use ecologically beneficial approaches. Regulators use the information on the website to evaluate the sustainable shorelines proposals they receive. Engineers reported that they will utilize the information to enhance and support the services they provide to fill a market niche and propose projects that are more likely to be aligned with permit requirements. The Advisory Committee identified several potential areas of future work to encourage the adoption of sustainable shorelines or areas of future collaboration. This included collaborating with the railroads to incorporate ecological enhancements into some of the (many miles of) hardened shorelines they own, expanding the construction and monitoring of demonstration sites, and completing additional ecological research. Research ideas included assessing ecological tradeoff of in water structures, classifying habitat, and the effect of adding vegetation to hard revetments. In addition, they explored the ideas of promoting the adoption of sustainable shorelines by serving as a technical assistance resource or by helping to launch a sustainable shorelines certification program. They did not commit to future collaboration, but said it could occur on a project-‐by-‐project or topic-‐of-‐interest basis, and it might involve new stakeholder representatives such as municipal or federal representatives or creating partnerships with organizations completing related work. Although the funding for this project is expiring there is interest and need in continued collaboration. Project leaders thanked the Advisory Committee members for their guidance and support over the five years of the project, and Committee members voiced their appreciation for the project’s many accomplishments. Welcome, Introductions and Project Update Betsy Blair welcomed participants to the final meeting of the Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee, which is part of the Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project (HRSSP) that informally started in 2005 with the mapping of the Hudson River and formally started when funding from the National Estuary Research Reserve (NERRS) Science Collaborative was awarded in 2008. This funding will conclude in June 2015. The purpose of the final Advisory Committee meeting was to convene members, share products from the project, and jointly discuss opportunities for continuing to work collaboratively to advance shared goals for the Hudson River Estuary and its shorelines. All meeting presentations and handouts, as well as other project resources and information, can be found at: hrnerr.org Review of Work Completed Project Team members gave brief presentations about the work they completed or will complete for the HRSSP. For more detail, please see the project website, https://www.hrnerr.org/hudson-‐river-‐ sustainable-‐shorelines/, and links to various project components in this summary. Ecological Work – Stuart Findlay highlighted the ecological research completed by Cary Institute scientists to develop science-‐based recommendations for shore zone management. The following research or products have been or will be produced: • A literature review about freshwater shore zone ecological characteristics and attributes). (Published) Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014
A study of shoreline wrack and invertebrate usage. (Published) A rapid assessment tool to help shoreline managers understand the resources on their property and how the shoreline is functioning. • A shoreline management brochure. • A decision support tool to guide users in the application of shoreline management approaches (in development). • Fish and shoreline heterogeneity research. Preliminary findings indicate that fish prefer rough, complex, sloped shorelines. (in manuscript) • Ecology of vegetated rip rap. Preliminary findings indicate that riprap shorelines with gentle slopes have more vegetation than steep slopes. (in manuscript) Stuart indicated an interest in future work to look balancing tradeoffs between ecology and various stabilization techniques. For example, for any technique, what benefits can be acquired by implementing it and what must be given up in return? Engineering Work – Andrew Rella presented for the Stevens Institute team that worked on engineering research for the HRSSP. This suite of projects and products includes: • A literature review of shoreline treatment options including tradition, hybrid, and ecologically enhanced. The report provides a brief description of each method with general design and construction guidance, information on adaptability to sea level rise, and a comparison across different structures. • A comparative cost analysis among nine types of shoreline treatment at three sites with different energy regimes under two sea level rise scenarios was developed to help shoreline owners or managers estimate management costs for each shoreline treatment over a 75 year timeframe. • A characterization of the physical environment (in this case, water levels, currents, vertical current stresses and mixing, and surface wind waves) impacting the Hudson River shoreline. • A forensic analysis of six engineered shoreline projects to determine how and why they were damaged or withstood the forces of recent big storm events. Demonstration Site Network – Dan Miller presented the work completed on the demonstration site network: • The project has created a demonstration site network to raise awareness of sustainable shorelines approaches that have been implemented along Hudson shorelines, show how they are designed and constructed, and how they perform overtime. The network consists of four sites (in Coxsackie, Rhinecliff, Cold Spring, and Nyack) that were designed and constructed (or will be constructed, see below) as part of the Sustainable Shorelines project. In addition, the network includes several additional sites that were designed and constructed by others, using sustainable shorelines principles. Case studies and site reports are available on the HRSSP website. • “Ninety percent complete” site designs for Nyack and Cold Spring were completed in November 2014. The plans will be used to apply for permits and construction will begin as soon as funding is secured. • The project has also undertaken a bulkhead (ecological) enhancement project in order to identify methods to enhance habitat on bulkheads, since bulkheads are necessary in some locations but do not provide quality habitat. A pilot project will be installed in Rhinecliff in spring 2015. Sampling will determine whether or not fish are attracted to the enhanced bulkheads. • Monitoring Demonstration Sites – Ben Ganon presented information about the monitoring program for sites in the demonstration network. The program is designed to be site specific (data will not allow for comparisons across sites), repeatable (photos and data points are collected from specific coordinates each time), feasible (it takes an hour or less and doesn’t • •
Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014
require a lot of training of the assessor), and consistent (data collection and storage instructions are available for each site, and there’s a database with a photo inventory for each site). Monitoring site visits are conducted in the fall and spring to identify and alert site owners of potential maintenance issues and to gather social, ecological, and physical parameters to evaluate how well these sites are meeting their objectives. The site visits also serve to gauge site owner satisfaction with the project. Trainings, Outreach, and Tools – Emilie Hauser briefed the group on several HRSSP-‐related initiatives: • The HRSSP Coordinating Team delivered a training in July to teach engineers and landscape designers how to apply the findings of the HRSSP project. Participants requested more information about regulatory processes that would accompany implementation of sustainable shorelines approaches. • The Team plans hopes to collect feedback from the regulators about trends in ecological shoreline enhancement and current thinking on regulations and permit requirements for ecological shoreline designs in New York. • Once completed, additional tools will be posted on the HRSSP website. These tools include the Cary Institute’s decision support tool and Stevens Institute of Technology’s research on whether or not physical forces categorization could give guidance on initial shoreline design and planning, a literature review to see how physical forces categorization could be compiled into a usable index, and more data on ice and wakes. Applying the Results of the Hudson River Sustainable Shoreline Project In order to explore the various ways project products are of use to its many intended audiences, and to consider any final work that could be done to make them of more use, participants discussed how they use project results. This session began with eight Advisory Committee members presenting how they or their institutions are using or plan to use the results of the HRSSP. Several uses were identified such as the integration of HRSSP products and information into regulations or guidance documents, use of information to substantiate recommendations, use of information to support decision-‐making, and demonstration sites used to educate shoreline managers about why and how to construct sustainable shoreline designs. Their key points are summarized below. Sven Hoeger, Creative Habitat Corp., commented that HRSSP data would have been useful in the design phase of several of his past projects, and that his future projects will benefit from the information generated by HRSSP, especially about energy regimes. For example, past clients requested shoreline designs incorporating more natural features, and although he was able to design something that worked, those designs were based on his personal ecological knowledge and best professional judgment. Going forward, he will be able to better design more natural shorelines because he will be able to evaluate potential design options for a site with engineers, using the HRSSP engineering data (and the physical forces data sets in particular). Bill Ottaway, NYSDEC Div. of Environmental Remediation, explained how the Sustainable Shorelines project has begun to change the outlook on restoration within the Division of Environmental Remediation, and how Division staff might use project data in the future. He commented that while the Division mostly improves the environment by removing contaminants of concern, in some cases the end result from a habitat perspective might fall short of what could have been achieved. For example, a complex contaminated shoreline site could be designed to have riprap shoreline during remediation and restoration, rather than just a vertical impermeable wall. The HRSSP project has helped DER realize that a comprehensive guidance document that incorporates HRSSP findings and suggestions might facilitate the adoption of sustainable shoreline designs into restoration plans, and he is writing guidance that Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014
includes initial habitat evaluations. He also noted that some clients want to be recognized as model environmental stewards. In these cases, he said it is easy now to suggest that the client review the HRSSP website to identify the type of shoreline that would be most beneficial at the end of the remediation project. Heather Gierloff, NYSDEC Region 3 Bureau of Habitat, spoke about how, from a permitting perspective, project data and findings help to substantiate the decisions of permitting staff, as shoreline treatment approaches move from traditional stabilization methods to more adaptable and ecologically enhanced stabilization methods. Historically, riprap has been the most often-‐proposed stabilization technique. Now the goal is to help permit applicants obtain a permit that will both stabilize and enhance the ecology of the shoreline. Applicants are often surprised when they are not granted a permit that proposes the use of traditional stabilization approaches. Instead of simply telling the applicant the stabilization must be done differently, permitting staff now directs applicants to the HRSSP website to help them learn why enhanced ecological approaches are beneficial and how such approaches might be constructed. Mark Lowery, NYSDEC Office of Climate Change, described how he uses project data and products in two areas: development of guidance pursuant to the Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA) and in the Climate Smart Communities program. Signed into legislation in September 2014, the CRRA Act requires DEC to adopt sea level rise (SLR) projections. CRRA also requires that applicants to any of the 19 different facility siting programs, permitting programs and funding programs listed in CRRA demonstrate to regulators how they incorporated the storm surge, SLR, and flooding considerations. DEC must update the technical and guidance documents for each of the 19 programs to incorporate these new criteria. DEC and DOS must provide guidance on natural resources and nature-‐based measures for community resiliency. He expects that a lot of the HRSSP data and information will be included in the natural resources and nature based measures guidance. Additionally, he said they will look to the HRSSP as a model for transferring knowledge to other systems across the state and for developing sustainable guidance for coastal environments. Similar to the planned CRRA guidance documents, he commented that many HRSSP resources have been incorporated into the manual for the Climate Smart Communities Certification Program (http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/96511.html). Jaime Ethier, NYS Department of State, Office of Planning and Development, described how he anticipates using HRSSP data and products in 3 ways: while interacting with municipalities during Local Waterfront Revitalization Program planning efforts, while administering their annual grant program administration, and during consistency reviews for projects proposed by municipalities and shoreline land owners. He intends to refer the engineers and communities to the HRSSP information to help them better understand the range of available alternative shoreline stabilization techniques. Similarly, the consistency review unit is making efforts to utilize softer shoreline methods and will promote the HRSSP information and tools. Kristin Cady-‐Sawyer, NYSDEC Region 4, Division of Environmental Permits, spoke about how she uses the HRSSP data and how permit applicants could use the data and case studies of demonstration sites. She said it is helpful to have the HRSSP information available when NYSDEC Permits staff and Habitat staff coordinate review of a permit application. When applicants choose to propose an approach, it will be helpful for the applicants to review HRSSP data and resources so that they submit correct documentation and justification for the approach. Additionally, the demonstration sites will show the benefits of sustainable shorelines and how those sites were designed, which can be translated into future permit applications. Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014
Sacha Spector, Scenic Hudson, explained how he anticipates Scenic Hudson will use the demonstration network sites on their properties as an outreach tool, and plans to invite municipal representatives or others to the properties to discuss how they were designed, permitted, and constructed. He said Scenic Hudson will continue to advocate for sustainable shorelines in pre-‐permit designs. Over the long term, Scenic Hudson is committed to installing additional soft shoreline approaches throughout the Hudson River and to studying how well the shorelines adapt to rising water, storms, and other events with the hope of continuing to develop information about how to better design structures overtime. He indicated he would make his organization’s planning staff aware of the HRSSP resources, and facilitate the use of these materials at Scenic Hudson properties. Kristin Marcell, NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program and Cornell U, described the NYC Coastal Green Shoreline Infrastructure Research Plan, and recognized the value of the HRSSP approach and products in shaping a research agenda for NYC. Much of the HRSSP information and research, as well as outstanding questions identified by HRSSP, are incorporated into the plan. A final draft will be available for review in coming weeks. (http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/100057.html). Group Discussion The discussion focused primarily on issues related to the permitting process and how to make sustainable shorelines approaches the default proposed approach to shoreline management. Others offered ideas about how they might use the data: • Several members underscored the importance of maintaining the website, especially as a resource to which professional designers can refer their clients. Others expressed appreciation to permit staff for directing applicants to HRSSP information, and one said that knowing the permit staff direct applicants to the HRSSP resources makes engineering firms more comfortable with directing clients to the same resources; it helps clients to better understand the decision making process used to approve or deny a permit. • Other members highlighted the need to generate adoption of sustainable shoreline approaches through regulatory means, and through the development of regulatory guidance. They predict there will be an increase in sustainable shorelines design proposals as more HRSSP information is incorporated into the regulatory decision making process and becomes more the norm. In Virginia, for example, the permit application requires an applicant to explain why they did not propose a living shoreline approach if they proposed a hard shoreline approach instead. • Participants discussed whether or not sustainable shorelines designs are common knowledge and, if they are common knowledge, why they are not proposed more frequently. Some suggested that most engineers are aware of ecologically enhanced approaches, but they are infrequently selected because either the engineers believe the approaches are harder to design and permit and cost more in construction and maintenance than traditional hard shorelines or, soft shoreline approaches are not selected because the client specifically requests a hardened shoreline approach. Others said that most engineers are not aware of ecologically enhanced shoreline design options and many clients simply think that bulkheads help. Additionally, the clients are not inclined to pay for the design and construction of something that, to them, looks like weeds. Instead, good design for these clients means a shoreline that looks “new.” • Someone suggested it would be great to create holistic, multipurpose permit authorization / application that meld economic development with the restoration of neighboring lands. • A few commenters described how they might use the HRSSP information. One said his organization is in the process of updating environmental sensitivity index maps and he could incorporate HRSSP data on constructed, enhanced, or natural shorelines into the index to help complete a hazard assessment for SLR and flooding. Another participant commented that the Interstate Environmental Commission is branching into other areas of water quality, which has Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014
made them particularly interested in HRSSP. He commented that in some places, like the Chesapeake Bay, living shorelines will receive credit for TMDLs. In a similar vein, he is considering how the Commission can use the HRSSP information in the future. Future Action, Engagement, Research, and Collaboration Because the current funding for this project is coming to an end, this meeting provided an opportunity for Advisory Committee members to offer ideas about what else needs work in the Hudson related to shorelines. The group discussed potential areas of future collaboration and coordination on research, education, and outreach to advance the adoption of sustainable shorelines practices in the Hudson River. Comments and ideas are grouped thematically. Promote or encourage the use of HRSSP data – Several participants commented that a critical next step is to get engineers, designers, permitters/regulators, and clients of engineering firms to use project data. • Technical Assistance -‐ The Advisory Committee or a similar group could provide active technical assistance and refined guidance, beyond what is available on the HRSSP website, to parties interested in implementing a sustainable shoreline design. • Certification or Licensing o Perhaps there should be a certification program linked to regulations and permitting. This would require the regulators to determine that certain types of projects are approvable and engineers or designers to learn about the available data, resources, and regulations and complete a certification program. This would enable engineering firms to use the certification as a marketing tool to show they understand the concepts and can use the tools to complete ecological shoreline design faster and better. o If a sustainable shorelines certification program is developed, consider where it can be most easily inserted into education and career development. Accredited undergraduate programs may have too many rigid requirements; but a semester or two semester long course to disseminate information may fit more easily into professional development plans and work schedules. o If certification leads to licensing, the licensing authority assumes some liability with the professionals that are certified and licensed. Partner organizations may be useful if this route is selected. o Instead of certifying engineers or consulting firms, perhaps the shoreline design itself could be certified, similar to Energy Star Certifications. o Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering (SAGE) may be developing a similar certification program. If engineers follow specific principles, they are more likely to receive financial support. Restore America’s Estuaries currently has a grant proposal to help develop a shorelines academy that would lead to professional certification. Engage the railroad companies – Participants commented on the potentially significant impact, challenges, and opportunities of working with the railroad companies, who own approximately 28% of the Hudson River shorelines, much of it hardened. • When the railroad companies update their infrastructure, significant impact could be achieved if the HRSSP can provide feasible sustainable shoreline design solutions that meet the company’s interest in protecting their infrastructure. • Natural disasters that disrupt service may eventually encourage railroad companies to take different approaches, however their initial efforts are likely to focus on less expensive solutions such as raising mechanical equipment, while long term efforts would likely focus on expensive solutions such as elevating tracks. Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014
Could the companies be convinced to provide funding for sustainable shorelines strategies if they understand they have one of the largest impacts on the shorelines of the Hudson River? Government could provide incentives for railroad companies to implement ecologically enhanced shoreline designs. These could be through encouragement in the regulations or financial assistance for design or construction. However, some suggested railroad companies are unlikely to fund anything that does not contribute to continued operation of the railroad. Efforts to engage the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) with a cooperative grant program initially seemed promising but ultimately were not successful. Members speculated that MTA senior management may not be aware of the value of constructing ecologically enhanced shorelines on their properties. Seek funding for partnerships with the railroad companies from the Hudson River Foundation. The MTA could be a good partner. They may be interested in demonstration projects.
Continue to develop and monitor demonstration sites – Several participants commented on the importance of continuing to provide and monitor on-‐the-‐ground examples of sustainable shorelines to help answer why they perform well or not. • Select demonstration sites strategically instead of opportunistically. Identify the types of designs we want to construct, identify the location where a specific design is feasible and take action to secure permission and authorization to design and construct the shoreline treatment. A group like the Advisory Committee could be used to identify sites, then letters could be sent to land owners requesting time to discuss the potential with them. • Set a goal to complete a specific number of demonstration projects with railroad companies. • Explore the potential to work with SAGE on demonstration sites. • Incorporate natural shorelines into the demonstration site network shorelines, including those that are managed with ecological approaches, but whose landowners may not know they are doing anything special. Publicly recognize landowner for their management practices to build awareness and interest in sustainable shorelines. • Continue to monitor demonstration sites, but add teeth to the monitoring program to ensure sites are properly maintained. Continue the social science aspect of demonstration site monitoring, for insights about how and why people are using sustainable shorelines. • Implement monitoring that would allow comparison to baseline shoreline types. This would allow for comparisons of how well sites weather storm events and the type and cost of maintenance required after the storm events and provide data about what the benefit of incorporating more ecological considerations into sites (or leaving them alone). Continue ecological research– Several participants highlighted the need for additional information or action on specific ecological components. • Ecological Tradeoff Analysis: Participants noted the hurdle of permitting in-‐water structures and suggested research to assess the tradeoffs that would be made if a section of the river was filled in or a structure were built in the river. In particular, a participant suggested investigating the tradeoffs between breakwater and benthic habitats, since the benthic habitat impact is often the reason a permit is not issued. • Habitat Maps: Classify areas of higher or lesser value river bottom habitat. Because the use of many benthic habitats by fish and other organisms is not well understood and variable according to location, life stage, and season, additional research may be warranted to develop recommendations for in-‐water shoreline structures/treatments in geographic areas where one treatment has ecological advantages over another treatment. The ecological research could help people avoid making decisions that would negatively impact valuable habitat areas. A participant noted that sustainable shoreline treatments are typically limited to impacted or developed sites, so it is more of an ecological lift than an ecological trade. Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014
Reviewing Opportunities in the Regulations: Another potential action is to convene a dialogue with regulators, resource managers, and others to discuss and analyze how to manage shorelines for best ecological benefit, then compare those determinations to the regulations to see if the regulations achieve the desired ecological benefits. Then, discuss where regulations could be interpreted to allow enhanced ecological benefit. Shoreline Retrofitting Research: Rigorously test retrofitting shorelines. For example, work with municipalities to convert riprap shorelines into a more ecologically beneficial shoreline. This research could be done as part of the Demonstration Site Network and could also produce information about how to improve shorelines at a modest cost. Vegetation Information: Produce information about the types of plants to use in ecologically enhanced treatments, lists of vendors where the plants can be obtained, and information about how to maintain the plants (for example, herbivory control methods).
Future Partnerships, Collaboration, and Communication – Initially, the HRSSP had both a technical group and an advisory committee; but the two were combined for efficiency. The Advisory Committee has grown to provide a forum and structure for disseminating and discussing information and building relationships. While group members overwhelmingly supported continuation of the group in some form, they offered the following ideas about the future of the group. • The group could continue to serve as an advisory board. For example, as the NYSDEC staff present information to end users, they could collect questions and concerns and bring them to the group for clarification. • New members could be added to the group. If the group continues, consider inviting representatives from municipalities and other state or federal agencies to participate. • Only convene the group if there is a specific topic or project that could benefit from coordination among participants. This may mean that participants only attend sessions with topics of interest to them. • It was suggested the group meet twice per year, assuming there is good reason. • Many members present liked the idea of working together on the development of an outreach or extension component (training package, seminar, or other) to promote the use of the information and tools created through the project. Support from NYSDEC staff in Albany would also help to advance information dissemination. For example, they could encourage trainings be completed by Soil and Water Conservation Districts, municipalities, and machine operators who help to rebuild stream channels. • Demonstration site monitoring is another area of potential coordination. Currently, only the minimum monitoring is being completed. The group could collectively envision a better way to operationalize monitoring, especially after big storm events where some sites may succeed and fail and collection of data points would be of high value. • Consider partnerships with other organizations doing similar work. Examples include SAGE, Restore America’s Estuaries, the Climate Change Science Clearinghouse of New York, or creating partnerships and sharing best practices between lakefront and riverfront shoreline managers through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Additionally, if members are aware of individuals or corporations looking for areas to complete mitigation requirements, they could contact staff at DEC, who could recommend a potential project from the list of Environmental Benefits Projects. • Continue to maintain the HRSSP website, which many cited as a valuable resource, and consider adding an interactive online forum or a method such as webinars to share ideas virtually. Members could post reports or present what they’ve done or what is trending in their area of expertise. This might require a coordinator. Project Wrap Up, Final Comments, and Next Steps Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014
Several additional products are forthcoming, and Advisory Committee members may be asked to provide feedback on those products; however this meeting marked the final opportunity to convene as the Advisory Committee. Committee members offered these final thoughts on the project. • Many participants commented on the high quality and usability of the HRSSP outputs and the products’ applicability to their work. For example, one participant said she is glad the website makes the data so accessible, because it serves as a resource that she can extend to permit applicants and provides her with support for permitting decisions when working with applicants in the field. Another commented on how useful the products will be when incorporated into the Community Risk and Resiliency Act. Several new participants said they looked forward to taking the HRSSP products and incorporating them into their work in floodplain management. Another participant said the greatest benefit of products for him is that now he has the science to support innovation solutions. • Many participants commented on the value of participating in the HRSSP. For example, one person said he was a better engineer for participating in the HRSSSP project. Another said participation was really valuable because it provided him with good input and allowed him to see trends and build understanding of likely future directions ahead of the marketplace. Others commented on the value of extending their professional network by interacting with people they otherwise might not have met. • Several participants offered congratulations to the HRSSP research team. Commenting on the difficulty of sustaining momentum on collaborative projects, a member stated that the high attendance at the last meeting is a testament to the strong leadership, organization, and facilitation skills of the Coordinating Team. Another person commented that it was a model for future collaborative projects. Another member said the project was successful because the project leaders had a good vision for a five-‐year project and foresight to stay ahead of the curve. • Several participants reiterated the importance of maintaining this network of engineers, regulators, municipal leaders and agency staff. Betsy Blair and Emilie Hauser thanked all the participants for their time and contribution and for laying groundwork for NYSDEC to move forward. They gave thanks and recognition to the NERRS Science Collaborative, whose support made this project possible, and said that while this meeting marked the close of a chapter, it is not the end of the book. They look forward to maintaining contact and collaborating with the members of the Advisory Committee to continue making positive impact in years to come.
Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee, December 2014
Sustainable Shorelines Advisory Committee Meeting – December 3, 2014