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March and rally for East River Park on Sept. 21; another public hearing set


The above flyer has all the details about the march and rally for East River Park coming up on Sept. 21. (More info here.)

By now you likely now the story behind the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), a coastal protection initiative jointly funded by the City of New York and the federal government, aimed at reducing flood risk due to coastal storms and sea-level rise. ESCR is the first element of the city’s “Big U” plan to protect Lower Manhattan from surges like those seen during Superstorm Sandy.

As part of the project, city officials, starting next spring, plan to close East River Park for three-plus years, elevating it with 8- to 10-feet of soil and chopping down trees, etc., from Montgomery Street to East 13th Street.

Some residents, referring to it as the Kill Our Park Plan, have asked for the demolition and reconstruction of East River Park to take part in phases so that they continue to enjoy some of the amenities that the public space provides.

And the residents will make their voices heard on Sept. 21.

Meanwhile, there are two more public meetings about the project in the days ahead:

• CB3 Parks, Recreation, Waterfront & Resiliency Committee Meeting
Thursday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m. (billed as an “update”)
BRC Senior Services Center, 30 Delancey St. between Chrystie and Forsyth

• SAPA (Substantial Action Plan Amendment) Public Hearing
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m.
Manny Cantor Center, 197 E. Broadway between Jefferson and Clinton

Patch has more details here about the Sept. 17 hearing, which is required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development after the previous plan was changed without public input nearly one year ago.

The City Planning Commission is expected to vote on the plan on Sept. 24 before it heads to City Council this fall.

Updated 9 a.m.

Curbed reports the city is getting an independent review of its plan:

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera announced Monday that they have heeded locals’ calls for an outside expert to assess the East Side Costal Resiliency (ESCR) Project, hiring Hans Gehrels of the Dutch environmental consulting group Deltares.

“We’ve heard the requests of the community for an independent review before this goes into effect, and we listened,” Brewer said in a statement. “Dr. Gehrels will bring his vast experience and expertise to his analysis of this project, and I look forward to seeing the results of his review.”

This week, Gehrels is conducting interviews and surveying the current and former plans put forward by the de Blasio administration, which last September suddenly scrapped 70 percent of the project in favor of a new proposal that will bury East River Park with at least eight feet of fill. This would avoid tricky nighttime highway closures, but require the heavily-used park to go offline for some three years.

Previously on EV Grieve:
• Last week to comment on the city’s plans to close East River Park (Aug. 27)

• An annual reunion in East River Park (Aug. 4)

• City Planning Commission will hold its hearing on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project tomorrow (July 30)

• Next steps in the plan to rebuild East River Park (July 19)

• This week’s public meeting about stormproofing East River Park (July 16)

• A visit to East River Park (July 10)

• Here are the next meetings for you to learn more about stormproofing plans for East River Park (June 3)

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