To assist river access site owners and managers in adapting to existing and predicted flooding, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) selected WSP to lead an inclusive process in resilient planning and design. The resulting guidebook is the culmination of this year-long effort to study climate trends, engage stakeholders, create case studies, and develop guidance for how to understand, plan and design for flood resilience.
WSP led the engagement of more than 50 municipal, county, state, and non-profit representatives in documenting experiences with flooding, pressing needs and status of recovery and resilience activities. The handbook synthesizes input and information gathered through site visits, mapping of flood and ice risk under future climate scenarios, and input from a stakeholder advisory group, and outlines industry best practices tailored for the Hudson River.
The handbook includes guiding principles for assessing risk and opportunities, a step-based approach for river access site planning and design for resilience, recommendations by site and programming type, details on permitting considerations and potential funding sources, and six case studies, including a hypothetical site where the framework outlined in the handbook is employed. Recognizing the limited resources of municipalities and park agencies, the guidebook recommends an array of resilience techniques, based on site conditions and use:
- Operational, policy and physical
- Structural and nature-based
- At site, building and asset scales
- Using protect, elevate and accommodate approaches