Applaud Plans to Safeguard New York City From Extreme Weather


Target: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Goal: Support Mayor Bloomberg’s ambitious investment proposal to safeguard New York shorelines against climate change-related storms

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the extreme vulnerability of America’s coastal cities, particularly New York City. With widespread flooding and power outages along the city’s more than 500 miles of coastline, the storm caused tens of billions of dollars in damage and killed dozens. As of 2013 Sandy remains the second-costliest hurricane in American history behind 2005’s devastating Hurricane Katrina.

After years of government intransigence and indecision over the threats posed by such storms, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently proposed an ambitious plan to upgrade infrastructure throughout America’s largest city. Outlining the $20 billion plan, the New York Times reports that “[the] city would spend the money on fortifying infrastructure like the power grid, renovating buildings to withstand hurricanes and defending the shore.” Bloomberg’s report “details 250 recommendations [in total], including the installation of flood walls and other measure to protect some of the areas that were hit worst by [Sandy].” Funding for the myriad projects and upgrades will come from a combination of federal and city money already allotted by Congress, with the remaining $5 billion covered by money raised by the city itself.

The key feature of Mayor Bloomberg’s plan is that it is not simply a reactionary post-Sandy measure; throughout the report and Bloomberg’s presentation of the planned infrastructure improvements, the Mayor emphasized that these measures are essential for safeguarding the city from impending climate change-related impacts. The Times also notes that “[officials] estimated that more than 800,000 [New Yorkers] would live in the 100-year flood plain by the 2050s — more than double the 398,000 currently at risk, based on new maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.” With rising sea levels and climatologists‘ increasing worry over more frequent and intense storms, this is a prudently proactive step toward protecting millions of lives.

Thank Mayor Bloomberg for his efforts to address the threats of climate change-related storms and encourage other civic leaders to follow his lead.


Dear Mayor Michael Bloomberg,

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the vulnerability of American cities in the face of increasingly frequent and intense tropical storms. Sandy killed dozens of Americans from Florida to Maine, caused tens of billions of dollars in damage, and effectively shut down New York City for days. Despite repeated warnings from leading scientists, government intransigence and widespread denial of these growing threats, New Yorkers saw first hand the dangers of ignoring infrastructural deficiencies in the face of climate change.

Your ambitious plan to retrofit and upgrade New York’s coastal infrastructure marks a positive break from the status quo. Recognizing the threat of higher sea levels and more volatile tropical systems, your recent public presentation of the $20 billion investment plan concludes that “[this] is urgent work, and it must begin now.” As the number of New Yorkers in the 100-year flood plain will double by the 2050s you put in motion a plan that recognizes the dynamic and increasing dangers of inaction looking ahead. Most importantly, you present the most comprehensive and aggressive plan to protect Americans through infrastructure upgrades in the modern era.

Thank you for your leadership on this critical, often overlooked issue. We hope that you will work diligently to implement these necessary investments in your remaining months in office and set a superlative example for civic leaders in other vulnerable cities across America.


[Your Name Here]

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