Trump administration freezes funding for study of hurricane barriers: report

Trump administration freezes funding for study of hurricane barriers: report
© Getty

A federal study aimed at protecting the New York and New Jersey waterfronts from rising sea levels and storm swells has been halted by the Trump administration.

The purpose of the study was to examine how New York and New Jersey residents can avert the kind of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The Army Corps of Engineers has overseen the $19 million, six-year research project since 2016. Four of the plans put together include developing retractable sea walls along the coast, and the fifth consists of building a surge barrier that would stretch from Sandy Hook, N.J., to the Rockaway Peninsula in New York.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Army Corps of Engineers estimated the surge barrier could cost around $110 billion, according to the Post.

Despite predictions from scientists that coastal storms will intensify in the coming years from causes related to climate change, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE recently called one of the proposals related to the study "foolish."

The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday announced the "indefinite postponement" of a public meeting scheduled for Thursday in Rockaway Park due to a lack of necessary funding for the study.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Hill has reached out to the agency for comment.

"The administration is being penny-wise and pound-foolish by not funding the studies that allow New York to prepare for the next superstorm," said Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing COVID-19, Bill Barr and the American authoritarian tradition MORE (D-N.Y.), according to the Post.

Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geoscience and international affairs, told the Post that "from a non-political perspective" the freeze on spending is "counterproductive."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it will continue to work alongside the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on other projects to improve the area's resilience from storms and rising seas.