Sleepy Hollow, NY - What if someone held a party and you weren't invited? The Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) has been hosting public meetings to explore the impact of offshore barriers, land-based floodwalls and the potential of a levee system for the Hudson River. The ACE has already held meetings in New York City and Newark, New Jersey. A third meeting will take place tonight in Poughkeepsie, but those most affected by the decision - residents in Westchester and Rockland - have been left out of the equation.
Senator Terrence Murphy has seen this scenario before when the U.S. Coast Guard tried to rush through their plan to add 10 new anchorages in the Hudson River without seeking any input from residents whose jobs and neighborhoods would be threatened.
Last week, Senator Murphy sent a letter to Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, urging ACE to add an additional meeting in the Village of Sleepy Hollow. At today's press conference, he reiterated his call for a public hearing in Sleepy Hollow and announced the start of an online petition.
"This is a serious issue that will have a bearing on quality of life, property values, safety and most significantly, our environment," said Senator Murphy. "There is no doubt that we need to take additional steps to improve our infrastructure and preparations for extreme weather events. However, our region must have a seat at the table for these conversations. I have started an online petition so that people can let the ACE know they want them to come to Sleepy Hollow, so we can ask questions and learn more about the proposal. This is a great opportunity to work together to find viable solutions to address the needs of the communities that will be affected."
This past weekend John Lipscome, who serves as the Riverkeeper, told News12 that the plan would basically, "...put a plastic bag over the river's head," noting that the Hudson River is an estuary for numerous species from the Atlantic Ocean, including many on the endangered list.
One plan calls for a surge barrier at the mouth of the harbor from Sandy Hook, New Jersey to Breezy Point in Queens. An alternative plan calls for multiple shorter barriers from Staten Island to Brooklyn and at various other locations blocking tributaries.
Some estimates have the price tag for the total project at $25 billion and take decades to complete. Concerns have been raised that it could cause worse flooding in certain areas and harm nearby beaches.
Join Senator Murphy's Petition to Hold a Meeting with the ACE in Sleepy Hollow