Welcome to the New York Resilience System

The New York Resilience System will be the clearinghouse for information on resilient recovery and reconstruction efforts from Hurricane Sandy, as well as a place to discuss the goal of improving the health, well-being, and prosperity of New York citizens and their communities by fostering a resilient response to change both now and in the future.  Please register to participate.

Stephen Palumbi: The Hidden Toxins in the Fish We Eat -- and How to Stop Them

ted.com - Filmed April 2010

There's a tight link between the ocean's health and ours, says marine biologist Stephen Palumbi. He shows how toxins at the bottom of the ocean food chain find their way into our bodies, with a shocking story of toxic contamination from a Japanese fish market. His work points a way forward for saving the oceans' health — and humanity's.


How citizen scientists use the web to track the natural world

A screenshot of the Frog Watch map.Image: A screenshot of the Frog Watch map.

greenbiz.com - July 8th, 2014 - Yale Environment 360

By making the recording and sharing of environmental data easier than ever, web-based technology has fostered the rapid growth of so-called citizen scientists — volunteers who collaborate with scientists to collect and interpret data. Numerous Internet-based projects now make use of citizen scientists to monitor environmental health and to track sensitive plant and wildlife populations. From counting butterflies, frogs, and bats across the globe, to piloting personal drones capable of high-definition infrared imaging, citizen scientists are playing a crucial role in collecting data that will help researchers understand the environment. Here is a sampling of some of these projects.


Clean Power, Off the Grid

Image: Eleni Kalorkoti

nytimes.com - by David J. Hayes - July 17, 2014

STANFORD, Calif. — AFTER years of hype, renewable energy has gone mainstream in much of the United States and, increasingly, around the world. . .

. . . But many communities that need small-scale renewable energy remain out in the cold — literally and figuratively.

In Alaska, for instance, the vast majority of the more than 200 small, isolated communities populated primarily by native Alaskans rely on dirty, expensive diesel fuel to generate their electricity and heat.


Report: The Price of Resilience: Can Multifamily Housing Afford to Adapt?

submitted by Salvatore Lopizzo

furmancenter.org - July 16, 2014

A new report released today by the NYU Furman Center examines the challenges of retrofitting New York City’s multifamily housing stock against future climate threats, including the potential effect on the city’s limited stock of affordable housing.

The report, The Price of Resilience: Can Multifamily Housing Afford to Adapt? (PDF), was released today after months of collaboration with government officials, architects, engineers, and housing policy experts. Focused on the challenges facing multifamily buildings, the report details design solutions and offers policy recommendations for city officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that may help remove barriers to achieving long-term resilience in this stock.


HUD Releases Progress Report on Sandy Rebuilding Strategy


HUD No. 14-076
Patrick Rodenbush
(202) 708-0685
June 18, 2014

Report Tracks Progress On Recommendations of Sandy Task Force

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Sandy Program Management Office (PMO) today issued its first report tracking progress on the Sandy Rebuilding Strategy. The report is now available online.

TIDES - Occupy Sandy: A New Model for Disaster Relief


TIDES (Transformative Innovation for Development & Emergency Support) - July 9, 2014

Over a year and a half ago, on Monday, October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy made landfall near New Jersey.  It was the second costliest storm in United States history,responsible for 65 billion dollars in damage and 159 deathsacross the U.S., causing severe damage to New York City and New Jersey.  The damage from this catastrophic storm is still visible today and some fear that this type of storm will become the norm.


The Blue Carbon Project

submitted by Joe Browder


Offsetting carbon emissions by conserving ocean vegetation


What is Blue Carbon?

The problem: The growing emission of carbon dioxide from a wide range of human activities is causing unprecedented changes to the land and sea. Identifying effective, efficient and politically acceptable approaches to reduce the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is one of society’s most pressing goals.

How New Rules and Smart Tech Are Reinventing the Grid

General Electric's high-power gas tube switches. Credit: ARPA-E

submitted by Albert Gomez

sciencefriday.com - July 4, 2014
produced by Christopher Intagliata
guests - Cheryl Martin / Kate Burson

When Superstorm Sandy hit, neighborhoods all over New York City and Long Island lost power. In an effort to avoid lengthy blackouts in future storms, there was a lot of talk of a more distributed smart grid—a more resilient system. But how far have we come? Energy experts Kate Burson and Cheryl Martin discuss reinventing the grid through technological and regulatory fixes.



Red Cross: How We Spent Sandy Money Is a Trade Secret


(Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

The charity is fighting our public records request for information on how it raised and spent money after the superstorm.

propublica.org - by Justin Elliott - June 26, 2014

Just how badly does the American Red Cross want to keep secret how it raised and spent over $300 million after Hurricane Sandy?

The charity has hired a fancy law firm to fight a public request we filed with New York state, arguing that information about its Sandy activities is a "trade secret."

The Red Cross' "trade secret" argument has persuaded the state to redact some material, though it's not clear yet how much since the documents haven't yet been released.


New York Towns Can Ban Fracking Even If State Allows It: Court Ruling


Hundreds of protestors shout 'Ban Fracking Now' at a rally outside Gov. Cuomo's Manhattan fundraiser at the Hyatt Hotel on Monday. Also Monday, a top state court ruled that towns can ban the drilling practice even if the state allows it.  Nancy Siesel for new york daily news

nydailynews.com - by Kenneth Lovett - June 30, 2014

ALBANY — The state's top court on Monday ruled that local communities can ban the controversial drilling technique known as hydrofracking, whether or not the state agrees to allow the practice.

In its 5-2 decision, the Court of Appeals upheld local zoning ordinances passed by two central New York towns banning the drilling because of environmental concerns.

In her 28-page opinion, Judge Victoria Graffeo said the two towns “engaged in a reasonable exercise of their zoning authority.”


Next-Gen Urban Farms: 10 Innovative Projects from Around the World

submitted by Marielle Dubbeling  


The Farmery, slated to open this fall in an as-yet-undisclosed location, will be an 8,000-square-foot market that will grow its own mushrooms, greens and fruits. Photograph: Amy Edwards/Farmery

As the 'buy local' movement grows, social entrepreneurs find novel ways to make agriculture an integral part of urban life

theguardian.com - by Sarah Shemkus - July 2, 2014

Many shoppers like the idea of buying local. After all, it can mean fresher and healthier foods, stronger local economies, direct contact with food producers and in some cases — but not always — lower carbon emissions.

But most of us have only a few options for participating in the local food movement: visiting the farmers market or signing up for a community supported agriculture (CSA) subscription. As the movement continues to grow and evolve, however, social entrepreneurs are experimenting with novel ways to make local agriculture an integral part of urban life.

PHOTO TOUR: Inside NYC’s First Prefab Post-Disaster Housing Units

submitted by Samuel Bendett  


inhabitat.com - by Kevin Lee - June 24, 2014

NYC's Office of Emergency Management recently erected its first Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype in Brooklyn Heights. At first, we only got to see a glimpse of the emergency homes from the outside, but we recently took a grand tour of the space and have plenty of photos to share with you!


Massive New Storm-Protection Barrier Funded for Lower Manhattan


“The Big U,” one of the winners of the Rebuild by Design contest. Photo credit: THE BIG TEAM / Rebuild by Design

nextcity.org - by Graham T. Beck - June 2, 2014

The New York Metropolitan area will soon see a massive, $335 million berm along Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a $60 million living breakwater along Staten Island’s South Shore, a $20 million study of protecting the food distribution center in the Bronx neighborhood of Hunts Point and a $125 million effort to protect north south waterways and the Mill River in Southern Nassau County.

U.S. Resilience Project - Priorities for America’s Preparedness: Best Practices from the Private Sector

usresilienceproject.org - October 31, 2011

U.S. Resilience Project (USRP) reports are designed to showcase how public policy can benefit from private-sector best practices in security, business continuity, risk management, and disaster preparedness.

Harness the Power of Intelligent Networks and Social Media

The focus for national preparedness should be on creating situational awareness, enhanced decision-making and rapid response; Platforms like the U.S. Resilience System, that are based upon distributed intelligent social networks and crowd-sourcing, can enable far more agility and adaptability than a highly structured, hierarchical capability with significantly better outcomes at far less cost. Exploiting U.S. leadership in this area has the potential to create significant engagement in preparedness, disaster response, and regional resilience building.


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