C+S March 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 3 (web)

been years in the making. So many engineers, scientists, and modelers have worked on it and it’s great being a part of the team making it come to life.” Weppler, like Vietri, sees the 1992 Westhampton Beach breach as a pivotal time for the project. He remembers what the Army Corps did following the breach and says it was sort of a template for what would become The Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point, New York, Coastal Storm Risk Management Project. “This breach created a new inlet that quickly grew progressively wider to about a quarter mile. Eighty houses were under water and many oth- ers heavily damaged. Some homes became isolated because the new inlet had cut through the only access road,” said Weppler. “The Army Corps in cooperation with the community, repaired the breach, restored the beach and dune system, and created a habitat for endangered wildlife.” Vietri who lives on one of the barrier islands added, “This project will provide layers of protection against storm surge and sea level rise while maintaining and enhancing natural resources. It takes into account the oceanfront, back-bay communities, barrier islands, inlets and estuaries in a way that is a collaborative effort. It is unique.”

habitat, recreational resources, and community aesthetics. In addi- tion, the project sets the key elements of a resiliency framework that will be completed by technical experts in close collaboration with the involved communities.” Bocamazo said, “To me the most interesting aspect of this project are the multiple agencies, jurisdictions and groups involved. Much coordination was needed to get to the final plan. All of the parties had to agree on how to communicate, cooperate, agree to disagree and move on, determine the level of decision authority, and all the while make progress in the project. With so many involved partners, coming together over so many years, the project getting started is a testament to persistence and patience, and always keeping the goal of risk manage- ment for the population of Long Island in mind.” Suzana Rice, who took over for Bocamazo as Senior Coastal Engineer, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said, “My mentor, Lynn Bocamazo, was very involved with the project since the begin- ning and she has transferred her knowledge to me. This project has Project Area Map of the Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point, New York, Coastal Storm Risk Management Project. Photo: USACE.

DR. JOANNE CASTAGNA is a Public Affairs Specialist and Writer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District. She can be reached at joanne.castagna@usace.army.mil.

change, one of the biggest challenges is getting people to understand what climate change actually looks like. While climate change might look dramatic, like a polar bear floating on a shrinking piece of ice or a massive hurricane, it can also look like a small increase in annual flooding or less precipitation over the course of a year. The First Street Foundation is a non-profit organization that was established nearly five years ago with the goal of making climate change something easier for everyone to understand. This was accomplished by creating physical climate models that represent heat, drought, fire, and flood - ing. Matthew Eby, Founder and Executive Director of the First Street Foundation, points out that, when these models were created, it was immediately obvious that flood was the most pressing risk in terms of financial loss and structural damage.

Protecting Commercial Properties from Flood Damage By Luke Carothers

As the AEC industry continues to grapple with the effects of climate change and plan for the future, one risk that continues growing is that of flooding. When it comes to facing down the problems of climate



March 2022

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