In early May, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released its 2014 Annual Report for the NYC Green Infrastructure Program. In 2014, DEP met or exceeded the expected green infrastructure performance rates for the three neighborhood demonstration areas, committed $36 million for green infrastructure construction as part of the city’s Community Parks Initiative, initiated construction on thousands of bioswales to collect stormwater runoff, and more.
Additionally, on May 7, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released the fiscal year 2016 executive budget, which includes $1.2 billion in funding for reducing flooding in southeast Queens. According to Councilman Donovan Richards, chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee, the money will be used to fund both grey and green infrastructure, including bioswales, improved drainage systems, and new catch basins. Funding also will be used toward a program at York College in which students will identify homes affected by persistent flooding.
On a related but not stormwater-specific note, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on April 21 the creation of a $1.8 million program to fund the development of local responses to climate change. The Community Climate Initiative will provide competitive grants to local organizations across the state for climate change responses ranging from fostering public awareness in fighting air pollution to promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy. Read more.