The New York Department of State today announced the completion the $3 million Shorefront Park Living Shoreline project in the Village of Patchogue – one of the largest living shoreline projects in the state. As part of this flood resiliency project, the Village has replaced a deteriorated 1,300-foot bulkhead along the Great South Bay with an innovative living shoreline that uses natural features to improve water quality, restore habitat and increase resiliency against flooding and erosion from coastal storms and sea-level rise. The project has also improved public access to Shorefront Park with a new walking trail, new pedestrian bridges and improved amenities in the park. Before and after photos of the project are available here.
“This innovative project demonstrates that nature can be our best defense against shoreline erosion and the effects of more frequent and severe storm events,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “Projects like this can serve as a catalyst for future nature-based resiliency measures throughout the South Shore Estuary Reserve as we seek to protect and restore this vital and robust ecosystem, as well as the communities and economies that depend on its health.”
The Patchogue Shorefront Park project replaced a deteriorated wooden bulkhead with an innovative living shoreline, which includes a rock sill, new marsh habitat, stormwater improvements. The project also restored Little Creek and its tidal connection to the Great South Bay. Living shorelines use natural and nature-based features to reduce the impacts of erosion and flooding to coastal communities and are more adaptable to rising sea levels. Several Long Island communities have embraced living shorelines and other natural and nature-based resiliency projects during and after Superstorm Sandy’s recovery efforts.
In addition to helping reduce risk from flooding and erosion, this project has created a new walking trail to expand public access to Shorefront Park, replaced pedestrian bridges, improved amenities and implemented stormwater management practices.
This project supports climate resiliency goals outlined in the 2022 South Shore Estuary Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan, which focuses on the management, protection and restoration of the South Shore’s valuable natural resources and the estuarine economy.
The Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program provided $2.2 million in funding to the Village of Patchogue for this project, with supportive contributions of $315,000 from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, $45,000 from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and $275,000 from Suffolk County. Looking forward, the State’s “Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs” Environmental Bond Act includes funding for local waterfront revitalization, coastal rehabilitation, shoreline restoration and green infrastructure projects, among others.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “By bringing together state and local partners, New York State continues to prioritize the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems like the Shorefront Park Living Shoreline project in the village of Patchogue. Projects like this living shoreline are a win-win for communities, both benefiting economically important marine species while helping to protect shoreline communities from the impacts of climate change.”
New York State Office of Parks, Recreations and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “New York State Parks is proud to support the Department of State and the Village of Patchogue in the completion of Shoreline Park’s waterfront rehabilitation. Through improved resiliency and sustainability, this historic project will help defend shoreline communities from the impacts of climate change while also enhancing park space and outdoor recreation for the community to enjoy for many generations.
Senator Dean Murray said, "This beautiful living shoreline project, with its new walking trail, new pedestrian bridges and improved amenities, is the result of the State working together with local governments and shows the State's commitment to using a nature-based approach to shoreline resiliency. We are already seeing results with improved water quality and habitat restoration. Everyone involved should be proud.”
Assemblyman Jarett Gandolfo said, “As Long Islanders, our shorelines mean everything to us; that is why I am happy to see the Shorefront Park Living Shoreline Project completed. This project has made great improvements to the park which will not only protect our shoreline and improve resiliency, but also allow the community to better utilize this wonderful space.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "The completion of the Shorefront Park Living Shoreline project is a major step forward in protecting our coastal communities by strengthening their resilience against the challenges of climate change. This is a perfect example of New York State seeking out innovative, nature-based solutions to safeguard our waterways while prioritizing environmental impact and ensuring public access. I commend Governor Hochul, and all stakeholders involved, in making this project a reality, as it will undoubtedly benefit our residents and preserve our natural resources for generations to come.”
Suffolk County Legislator Dominick Thorne said, "Congratulations to the Village of Patchogue and our State partners on yet another environmental project here is District 7. It is vitally important to protect our environment. "
Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri said, “I am proud to celebrate the grand opening of the new Shorefront Park and the Living Shoreline. Our vision was to create a park that was beautiful, accessible, environmentally friendly and one that would alleviate flooding caused by high tides during storms. I believe we accomplished our goals and we did it at no cost to the Village of Patchogue residents. Shorefront Park has been a destination for nearly 70 years and with the new renovations, I am sure that it will continue to be a fun, family destination for many years to come.”
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director at Citizens Campaign for the Environment said, “One of the most important adaptations we can do to protect Long Island from sea level rise is to stabilize our shorelines. Living shorelines are effective, inexpensive and a proven tool to capture sediment and reduce wave damage. They also enhance the aesthetic value of the park. Shore Park is a gem of Patchogue Village that residents frequently use for walking paths, playgrounds, ballfields, and bandshell events. This is a perfect location to highlight the benefits of living shorelines, which use nature-based solutions to prevent flooding, stop erosion, reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality. The Patchogue living shoreline is already being enjoyed by residents who are walking, jogging and bike riding on the pathways and sitting on benches by the bay. I am one of them! Thanks to the NY Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez and the Village of Patchogue for their work to improve water quality and protect our shoreline. We are thrilled to celebrate the completion of this critical project.”
DOS Local Waterfront Revitalization Project
Funding for the Village of Patchogue project was provided by the DOS Local Waterfront Revitalization Project (LWRP) through Title 11 of the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, which Governor Hochul has kept at a record level of $400 million. LWRP provides matching grants on a competitive basis to eligible villages, towns, cities and counties located along New York’s coasts or designated inland waterways for planning, design and construction projects to revitalize communities and waterfronts. The DOS Office of Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure works in partnership with waterfront communities across the State through the LWRP focusing on protecting natural and cultural resources, expanding public access opportunities and strengthening the local economy. This program helps communities breathe new life into their underused waterfront assets in ways that ensure successful and sustainable revitalization. To learn more about the LWRP, visit the DOS website.