At the 2017 Waterfront Conference on May 10, the Waterfront Alliance Previews the Region’s First-Ever Harbor Scorecard

How protected are our coastal communities and our infrastructure? Are waterways meeting Clean Water Act standards? Where are opportunities for public access to the water? Turn to the Harbor Scorecard for answers and action, neighborhood by neighborhood

NEW YORK, May 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At this year’s Waterfront Conference, titled “Measuring Our Harbor: Strong, Healthy, and Open,” the Waterfront Alliance will preview the region’s first-ever Harbor Scorecard. Comprehensive and user-friendly, the Scorecard compiles research in public access, ecology, and resiliency for a neighborhood-by-neighborhood evaluation of the waterfronts of New York City and northern New Jersey.

Some surprising highlights:

  • More than 400,000 New Yorkers (more than the entire population of New Orleans) face a 50 percent risk of a major flood by 2060
  • Compounding the problem, more than 40 percent of those at risk are socially or economically vulnerable
  • Despite being a city of islands, there is only one boating access site for every four miles of New York City waterfront

Distilling extensive research into an easy-to-use tool, the Harbor Scorecard will be previewed at the Waterfront Alliance’s annual Waterfront Conference on Wednesday, May 10, and rolled out three weeks later in time for the start of hurricane season.

The Waterfront Conference takes place aboard the Hornblower Infinity, dockside at Hudson River Park, Pier 40, in the morning, and cruising New York Harbor throughout the afternoon. Featured speakers include Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, Member of Congress; Lauren Brand, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration; Hon. Ras J. Baraka, Mayor, City of Newark; and Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, City of New York, along with dozens of expert panelists and workshop leaders, and hundreds of policy-makers, waterfront advocates, and professionals. Hornblower Cruises & Events is the venue sponsor.

For the third year, Arcadis is the premier sponsor of the Waterfront Conference, and for the second year, the sponsor of Arcadis Waterfront Scholars, a program that invites more than 70 undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the conference and engage with professional mentors. On May 10, Arcadis Global Lead for Water Management Piet Dircke will discuss the Harbor Scorecard in a global context using the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Water Index, which assesses the water resources of 50 cities around the world.

“New York City is making strides in protecting its coastline, and the Waterfront Conference is an important step in bringing together the best minds to help benchmark our harbors and waterways,” said Mr. Dircke. “Waiting until the next big storm to create safeguards against future disasters is not a sound resiliency strategy.”

“As the Waterfront Alliance begins our milestone tenth year of work, we have put together the Harbor Scorecard, an essential tool to take stock of progress along our waterways,” said John Boulé, vice-chair of the Waterfront Alliance and senior vice president at Dewberry, where he is business manager for New York operations. “While we’ve got a lot to be proud of, it’s clear that we need to do better, and the Harbor Scorecard will give citizens and policy-makers alike the information they need to act.”

“The Waterfront Alliance cannot solve all of New York City’s waterfront and sea level rise issues, but its Harbor Scorecard will indicate whether we are moving in the right direction, becoming more resilient while at the same time providing more and better access to the waterfront,” said Klaus Jacob of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

“Right now, New York City is making decisions that will affect clean water investments for the next generation,” said Larry Levine, a senior attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council. “Thanks to the Clean Water Act, our harbor is cleaner than it used to be. But far too often the water is still too polluted to touch. Sewage overflows still foul our waterways after it rains, making them unsafe for eight million New Yorkers to use recreationally. The Harbor Scorecard will provide a call to action for local, state and federal officials, shining a light on where we need to invest in our infrastructure for a cleaner, healthier future.”

Learn more about the Waterfront Conference and purchase tickets ($150 regular ticket; $75 government agencies and nonprofits; $50 students). Registration and breakfast is 8am to 8:45am; the boat is dockside at Pier 40, Hudson River Park until 1pm; the afternoon harbor cruise returns at 5pm. Continuing education credits will be offered (AIA CES; with APA AICP CM, and LA CES credits pending).

The Waterfront Conference is generously sponsored by:
Venue Sponsor: Hornblower Cruises & Events
Premier Sponsor and Waterfront Scholars: Arcadis
Commander: AECOM, GCA , New York City Economic Development Corporation
Supporter: Dewberry, ExxonMobil, GBX Gowanus Bay Terminal, Hudson River Foundation, Newtown Creek Group, Red Hook Container Terminal, Seastreak, Stantec, Studio V, Two Trees, United Metro Energy
Champion: Entertainment Cruises, HDR, Industry City, Langan, New York Water Taxi, Park Tower Group, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Sims Metal Management/Sims Municipal Recycling,
Friend: ARUP, Ecology and Environment, HATCH, Kyle Conti Construction, M.G. McLaren Engineering Group, Moffatt & Nichol, Mott MacDonald, NY Waterway, Perkins & Will, Scape Studio, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners, Steer Davies & Gleave, Williams, WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff
Continuing Education Partners: AIA New York, APA NY Metro Chapter, ASLA NY

The Waterfront Alliance works to protect, transform, and revitalize our harbor and waterfront.

Roland Lewis, President and CEO, 212.935.9831 x101,  
Alison Simko, Media Communications, 917.929.8375,