Community Connections and Resilience in the Village of Piermont
What makes a community resilient? The Hudson River Estuary Program typically focuses on community resilience to flooding. But the principles of resilience transcend any one hazard. Communities with strong connections and feelings of trust are known to recover faster when a disaster strikes.
The Village of Piermont is located at the confluence of the Hudson River and Sparkill Creek presenting significant flood risk and vulnerability to sea-level rise. Hurricanes Irene and Lee, in 2011, and Superstorm Sandy, in 2012, severely damaged its waterfront homes, businesses, and marinas. To address Piermont’s coastal flood risk, DEC’s Estuary Program, Scenic Hudson, and the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) helped the Village develop a resilience action plan which included policy and planning updates, capital investments, municipal operations, and infrastructure.
The Piermont Waterfront Resiliency Commission also established a Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) program, to provide check-ins for vulnerable community members in the event of another flood. The Neighbor to Neighbor program is improving community connectedness and social relationships which are valuable in any crisis. This has proved true for Piermont even in the wake of COVID-19. The program has helped residents stay connected and carry the emotional burden of social distancing by offering telephone conversations to N2N subscribers.
A phone call might sound simple, but if the pandemic crisis has taught us anything, it’s that connectedness is a fundamental aspect of resiliency. Read more about how the Estuary Program, Scenic Hudson, and CBI facilitated conversations with residents in four of the most at-risk Piermont neighborhoods about the daunting challenges of coastal-adaptation.
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Watch Planning for Sea-Level Rise This short video showcases how the residents of Piermont and the City of Kingston are adapting to sea-level rise and coastal flooding resulting from climate change.
A longer version of this article appeared in Climate Resilience in the Hudson River Estuary.