Okay, climate change — New Haven’s coast is going to be $8 million readier for you.
That’s the plan, at least.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) plans to send the $8 million to build two “living shorelines” in the Long Island Sound off of Long Wharf and off of East Shore Park.
The full Board of Alders needs to sign off on the deal.
This past Thursday night, the board’s City Services and Environmental Policy (CSEP) committee voted unanimously to recommend that final sign-off.
Before the vote, City Engineer Giovanni Zinn explained that the state funding will be used to reshape the shorelines off of both coastal parks to make the parks more naturally resilient to rising sea levels, storm surges, and other damaging incidents arising from climate change.
These “living shorelines” will use intertidal marshes, dunes, gently sloped approaches, native plants, and other manmade structures such as stone sills and imported materials to protect the parks’ shorelines against erosion.
And unlike seawalls, which remain permanently located where they are built, the ecosystem created by these “living shorelines” will migrate slowly as tidal levels change.
“It’s the future,” Zinn said, “resilient for climate change.” He said the state’s $8 million funding without any local matching required is a “show of faith from the state that we’re able to deliver projects of this type.”
He singled out the city’s recent construction of hundreds of bioswales as a prime example of its progress in building out climate change-resilient engineering projects.
There are no other “living shorelines” in the area, he said. The closest ones are in the Chesapeake Bay. He said the city hopes to start construction on these in 2019, and should need several months to build them out.