This afternoon (Nov. 4), the City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Sitings and Dispositions will vote on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), the $1.45 billion proposal to protect the East Side from future storm and rising sea levels.
Ahead of that, opponents of the plan, which will see parts of East River Park closed and buried in the years ahead, will rally on the steps of City Hall at noon.
Via the EVG inbox:
East River Park Action, a grassroots group formed to save the park, along with allies, have gathered thousands of petitions against the destructive flood control plan. They will deliver the petitions to the mayor’s office and City Council members. One group collected nearly 2,000 signatures from NYCHA residents, who have been portrayed by city officials as supporting the plan.
“We wanted to shut that argument down,” said April Merlin, who organized the drive. Her group found that people in Jacob Riis, Baruch, and Lillian Wald Houses across the FDR Drive from the park readily signed.
The group will also perform a satirical skit to represent the thousands of community stakeholders who they say are being ignored. “We’ve been testifying at hearings, demonstrating, and calling and writing our elected officials in overwhelming numbers. Yet our Council members are supporting this terrible plan,” says East River Park ACTION founder Pat Arnow.
The group supports adapting an earlier community-developed plan that provides flood control with minimal destruction of existing parkland and biodiversity.
On Oct. 2, the de Blasio administration announced more changes to the city's stormproofing plans for East River Park. Instead of the entire Park shutting down for three-plus years starting in March, the flood protection construction will be done in phases, with all of East River Park remaining open until next fall.
The plan has been making its way through the city’s uniform land use review procedure in recent months, as we've been reporting (see select links below). If the subcommittee votes for the plan this afternoon, then it will go to the Land Use Committee on Nov. 12 and to the full City Council on Nov. 14.
Meanwhile, on Nov. 14, officials from the Department of Design & Construction are scheduled to present the latest details on the plan before Community Board 3's Parks, Recreation, Waterfront & Resiliency Committee. That public meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the BRC Senior Services Center, 30 Delancey St. between Chrystie and Forsyth.
Previously on EV Grieve:
• Dutch consultant files report on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (Oct. 11)
• More details on the city's new plan to keep East River park partially open during flood protection construction (Oct. 3)
• At the march and rally to save East River Park (Sept. 21)
• An annual reunion in East River Park (Aug. 4)
• A visit to East River Park (July 10)