Environmental group speaks with CB 10 about Community Flood Watch Project

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Katie Graziano, a project scientist of the Community Flood Watch Project speaks to CB 10 on Sept. 9.

A nonprofit environmental group that aims to curb flooding by having citizens document images to help professionals identify the problem areas, spoke with Community Board 10 earlier this week.

On Sept. 9, Katie Graziano, a project scientist of the Community Flood Watch Project, which is part of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay-New York Sea Grant, spoke at the CB 10 Municipal Services Committee meeting about the work her organization is doing and hopes to do for CB 10.

“We want to know what ideas you have for your neighborhood,” Graziano said.

The project uses citizen science to report flooding events in the Jamaica Bay watershed. By using photographs and reports collected by community members, researchers can visualize how high tides might look in the future due to sea level rise, as well as improve the science and computer models of flooding.

According to the New York Sea Grant, the national annual frequency of high tide flooding reached five days in 2018, tying a historic record set in 2015 and by 2030, long-term projections show a national frequency of seven to 14 days of high tide flooding.

As flooding often occurs on Shore Road, Park Drive, Orchard Beach Road and City Island Road, Graziano noted how important it is for residents to be active and participate in the project. She noted that high tide flooding can happen on a sunny day and impact infrastructure, public health, safety and more.

“The Community Flood Watch Project is an organized attempt to see what we can about that [flooding],” she said.

The members of the committee were impressed with what New York Sea Grant is doing and felt it could benefit the community. Peter Del Debbio and Jerry Landi were among those who voiced support.

Del Debbio, who is the leader of American Legion Post 156 on City Island, said he plans to show this to the legion.

“I thought it was an excellent presentation,” he said.

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