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As the climate continues to warm, both the rainfall intensity and total amount of rainfall from large storms are projected to increase. Hurricane Sandy is just one example of how these extreme rain events can impact a region.
The people who live on the Rockaway Peninsula are resilient. This suburb of New York City lost more than 70 residents in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The area was further devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. With the help of the U.S. Forest Service and other partners, the community is restoring areas damaged by the storm. By using urban forestry and urban agricultural practices, the landscape will be more resilient to future storm events. Many projects are completed or in progress.
Beach 41st Gardens and Edgemere Farm provide locally grown food and peaceful garden space to the community. The Rockaway Community Park is being managed to serve as a buffer from flood waters. The severely damaged Rockaways boardwalk has been rebuilt with potential future extreme events in mind. Finally, Tribute Park is a living memorial with trees and plants that provide a place for people to reflect and remember those who lost their lives on September 11. Along a five mile stretch of the Rockaway Peninsula, visit these five locations. In each place, unique recovery actions are connecting people to nature and building community stewardship. Many practices are also helping to improve the resiliency of the area to climate change.
“This space is a landscape of resilience in that it is constantly being tested by the natural cycles of high tide, heavy precipitation. So, water coming in and out is a constant battle here. The natural elements are naturally resilient to this climate... People really play a heavy role too in their stewardship.” - Renae Reynolds, Project Coordinator, Landscapes of Resilience, U.S. Forest Service
Available Resources from Building Resiliency at the Rockaways:
Hub Video Interviews
- Landscapes of Resilience
- Social Resilience
- The Garden and Climate Adaptation
- Benefits of Urban Farming
- Rockaway Community Park
- Rockaway Boardwalk and Beach Aerial View
- The Story of Tribute Park
- Sandy Nearly Destroys Tribute Park
- In Rockaways, Infusion of Sand Will Soon Raise Beaches Hit by a Hurricane (New York Times)
- To Save the Shore, Putting Hope in the Sand (New York Times)
- A Stronger, More Resilient New York
- Climate Risk Information: Observations, Climate Change Projections, and Maps (New York City Panel on Climate Change)
- Sandy and Its Impacts
- New York City Urban Field Station: Landscapes of Resilience Project (Northern Research Station)
- Million Trees NYC: Urban Natural Resources Stewardship (Northern Research Station)
- Million Trees NYC: Benefits of NYC's Urban Forest
- Cape May Plant Materials Center (USDA-NRCS)
- Living Memorials Project (Northern Research Station)
- Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (Northern Research Station)
- B41st Gardens
- Till Design
- Edgemere Farm
- Far Rock Urban Agro-Ecological Center
- NYC Parks: Rockaway Community Park
- NYC Parks: Million Trees NYC
- NYC Parks: Tribute Park