Pages Navigation Menu
Categories Navigation Menu

Piermont Marsh Storm Protection Study

Figure 1 Aerial view of the Village and Marsh at Piermont, located on the western shore of the Hudson River, 25 miles north of the tip of Manhattan. Piermont Marsh is one of four sites of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Piermont Marsh, located on the western shore of the Hudson River, 25 miles north of the tip of Manhattan,  is one of four sites of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. This aerial view shows the marsh in late fall and its proximity to the Village of Piermont.  Credit: Jeff Anzevino, Scenic Hudson, Inc.

The Piermont Marsh Storm Protection Study is a research project on how Piermont Marsh may protect the Village of Piermont from storms. It is an outcome of the fact-finding meetings held in regard to the management of Piermont Marsh. In January 2015, Dr. Peter Sheng, of the University of Florida, gave a presentation on the effectiveness of wetland vegetation to dissipate storm surge, wave energy, and flooding. Working in partnership with the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (HRNERR), Dr. Sheng applied for, and received, funding for a three-year research project — Understanding the Role Coastal Marshes Play in Protecting Communities from Storm Surge and Flooding. A fact sheet describing the project, which ends in 2019,  is here: Piermont – Sheng NSC Factsheet.

PMR Eco Communities with Village Boundary

Piermont Marsh Ecological Communities. Credit: HRNERR

Research Purpose and Benefits

The project involves the following:

  1. Using a collaborative approach.
  2. Gathering available meteorological, hydrologic, and hydrodynamic data collected during Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy.
  3. Collecting marsh vegetation distribution and structure data to provide model parameters.
  4. Measuring water level and wave data in the Piermont Marsh during future flooding events for model validation.
  5. Simulating surge, wave, and flooding during Sandy and flooding events with a computer model. 
  6. Determining storms and sea-level rise for Piermont in current and future climates.
  7. Producing probabilistic inundation maps for current and future climates, considering a few marsh restoration options.
  8. Determining the ecosystem service value of Piermont Marsh for flood protection.
  9. Evaluating the relative economic benefits of marsh restoration plans.
  10. Conducting outreach and education to inform the end-users of scientific findings and enable science-based management of the marsh, considering flood protection.
Figure 3 Piermont marsh in summer. Scientist will study the capacity of the vegetation to dissipate storm surge, wave energy and flooding.

Piermont Marsh in summer. Scientists are studying the capacity of the vegetation to dissipate storm surge, wave energy and flooding. Credit: NYSDEC.

Collaborative Partners

The project is a collaborative partnership between scientists from universities and federal agencies, resource managers, end users and a collaboration expert. End-users are an important part of the research effort and include members of the Piermont Waterfront Resilience Commission and marsh managers. End-users provide advice on study outputs and are an important source of local information. The research team will meet with end-users two to three times a year. The first meeting, in May 2017, included a tour of the marsh and a demonstration of some research methods.

Figure 4 Scientists from University of Florida gather data on the density of marsh vegetation. Photo: Courtesy University of Florida.

Scientists from University of Florida gather data on the density of marsh vegetation. Photo: Courtesy University of Florida.

Project Partners

  • Consensus Building Institute
  • Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment, University of Florida
  • NASA Goddard Institute for Space Sciences
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Palisades Interstate Park Commission
  • Piermont Waterfront Resilience Commission
  • Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami
  • U.S. Geological Survey, New York Water Science Center

The project is funded by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s Science Collaborative which is managed by the University of Michigan’s Water Center through a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System

%d bloggers like this: