Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent Tuesday morning visiting areas of the city hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy to show off some of the mitigation projects underway there. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Sea levels may be rising, but on Staten Island, so is the beach.
In some of the areas most devastated by Hurricane Sandy, sand dunes are being erected, creating what will be a 13-foot high barrier against future storm surges.
On Tuesday morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg checked in on progress there. He also visited a project to protect the Rockaways from flooding before he finished his tour in Coney Island.
The mayor said progress has been made.
"If another storm like Sandy ever approaches our shores, it will find a far different city from the one that Sandy left behind," he said.
In the Rockaways, work was already underway to rehabilitate the bulkhead beneath Beach Channel Drive. Now, so-called tide gates are being installed, which will prevent the backflow of water from Jamaica Bay through storm drains.
"When it rains here, water flows out to the bay, but that open pipe allows water to flow back up into the neighborhood, and that's what we've closed off," said Daniel Zarrilli, New York City's director of resiliency. "So the pipe essentially only goes one way."
More ambitious are the plans for Coney Island Creek, where the city plans to create wetlands and more.
At the mouth of Coney Island Creek, the city plans to build a levee and tidal barrier system to better control the water flow during future storms. The city also intends to build a walkway over the barrier system to connect residents in Coney Island with a park across the water.
Those plans are long-term. For now, the city is launching a feasibility study.
Short-term, Bloomberg said that of 59 resiliency milestones the city planned to complete by year's end, about three-fourths are near completion. Even after year’s end, other elected officials said they'll carry on the mayor's work.
"I guarantee you, Mr. Mayor, we are going to make sure that we see that the next administration puts into action your proposals," said state Senator Diane Savino, whose district covers parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Bloomberg, meanwhile, said he won't interfere in the next administration, but he said he would be happy to give advice if the next mayor calls and asks.