On Wednesday March 2nd, Legislator Bridget Fleming joined Legislator Al Krupski, Parks Commissioner Jason Smagin, Director of Planning Sarah Lansdale, County Executive Steve Bellone and members of Citizens Campaign for the Environment to announce $1 Million for a comprehensive Coastal Resiliency project that addresses the natural protection of over 1,000 miles of shoreline in Suffolk County.
In 2019, Legislator Fleming sponsored IR 1807-2019, which sought to utilize $200,000 of the County’s 2019 Capital Budget to gain a region-wide understanding of the size and scope of a coastal resiliency plan with the intention of collecting essential knowledge on the location and character of climate impacts and potential economic loss on our coasts. The legislation was later met with the support of County Executive Bellone’s Executive Order adding $1 million from the County’s $125 million Wastewater Infrastructure Plan funded from the federal American Rescue Plan to the effort.
Legislator Fleming remarked, “We are facing ever-increasing impacts to our coastal communities because of climate change. Rising sea levels and increased severe storms threaten these communities with significant economic losses through flooding, coastal erosion, and damage to our roadways and infrastructure. With this substantial investment, we have the opportunity to take bold and thoughtful action to mitigate climate change impacts with a focus on nature-based solutions. Funding this project will allow the excellent team assembled to head off future emergencies, increase public safety, and reduce flooding, erosion and damage to county-owned infrastructure, and save taxpayer dollars. I am grateful to County Executive Bellone and our partners in the federal government for stepping up in this important way. I’m looking forward to getting to work.”