Deb Gordon’s guest was Roland Lewis, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, which is made up of over 600 hundred organizations and works to transform the New York and New Jersey Harbor and Waterways to make them cleaner, more accessible and vibrant places to play, learn and work with great parks, great jobs and great transportation for diverse communities.
Mr. Lewis spotlighted Hurricane Sandy and the destruction it caused to the Metropolitan waterfronts. Mr. Roland urged the community to not forget the businesses and residents who are still suffering in coastal areas of our communities, and help ensure that the resources come to the New York area, which is the world’s capital of entertainment and finance, and needs to be brought back and made resilient. Mr. Lewis also spotlighted ways the community can get involved including contacting congressional representatives to support a robust and smart recovery that makes us better prepared for the next storm.
Also discussed were some possible future steps to take to harden our infrastructure and build natural barriers to better protect our environment, and the possible construction of storm barriers and sea gates similar to those used in European cities like Amsterdam and Venice.
Mr. Lewis also focused on the economics of the storm, in terms of the fact that it will end up costing approximately 50 billion dollars and it will cost a fraction of that to make proactive investments to prevent the effects future storms, such as putting boilers in different places, and reinforcing our subway systems.
Mr. Lewis addressed the need for our community to continue to embrace the water which surrounds us, in spite of the storm; And also to embrace the water and continue to enjoy the waterfront and recognize it as the amazing resource, and world renown attraction that it is.
For more information, visit www.waterfrontalliance.org.