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Tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Do not harm the Hudson with storm surge barriers

proposed storm barrier
Learn More: Barrier plans threaten the Hudson River

Information page and toolkit: Storm Surge Barriers

Make your voice heard - the river can't speak for itself.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering six different plans to protect against coastal storm damage as part of its New York – New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries (NYNJHAT) Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. Several of these plans call for construction of massive, in-water barriers that would critically harm the Hudson River Estuary. Your voice is urgently needed now to prevent a short-sighted decision and to help protect the river and its life.

The in-water barriers envisioned for New York Harbor would choke off the Hudson River Estuary where it meets the ocean – restricting tidal flow, blocking the migration of fish and trapping sediment and contaminants. And with gates to allow passage of ships, the barriers would do nothing to protect against inevitable flooding from sea level rise.

Only one of the construction alternatives, calling for shoreline-based measures such as dunes, dikes and levees, is even worth considering. Shoreline-based measures are the only structures that will protect NYC and other communities against both storm surge AND sea level rise flooding – while leaving our rivers to run free.

The selection process is moving forward with barely any public notice or participation. The Army Corps has said it will narrow down the six alternatives to one or two by the fall of 2018 – without a thorough review of the environmental impacts of each plan, and without meaningful public input.

The Corps has opened a 40-day public comment period, through November 5, to consider the range or “scope” of issues it should study in its environmental review.

(This is a ridiculously short window of time, given that the project affects 2,150 square miles, including New York City and northern New Jersey, western Connecticut and both shores of the Hudson River up to Troy. Learn more about the process.)

“Scoping” comments are your opportunity to ask the Corps to perform specific scientific studies evaluating environmental and other impacts, describe your personal relationship to the river, and ask how its beauty, its fish, the tides and other qualities could be affected by these plans.

The Corps acknowledges that it will narrow down the options based on cost alone – without evaluating environmental impacts. Be sure to request that environmental studies be done before any plan is advanced.

Comments may be submitted to Nancy J. Brighton, Chief, Watershed Section, Environmental Analysis Branch, Planning Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, Room 2151, NY 10279-0090, or you can personalize, modify and send the letter below. 

Note: Personalized letters are far more effective – even if you simply add an opening sentence. Please describe your relationship with the Hudson River and why you are concerned about its health.

(Text in brackets will auto-populate with the decision maker and sender information.)


  • Nancy J. Brighton, Chief, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


*Required fields

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Dear: [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]