The Hudson River’s popular and scenic Dockside Park in the village of Cold Spring, New York is the site of a new sustainable shorelines demonstration project. The $1.85 million resiliency project will help Dockside Park withstand severe storms and flooding due to climate change and sea-level rise. The design concepts for these improvements began in 2013 with a project funded by NEIWPCC and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) Hudson River Estuary Program in collaboration with the NYSDEC Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Dan Miller, NEIWPCC environmental analyst and Hudson River Estuary Program habitat restoration coordinator, managed the conceptual design project. “At the time, funding a project to just 30% preliminary design was somewhat unusual. It was seen as an under-supported, but necessary step in response to needing “shovel-ready” projects in the pipeline,” said Miller. “Working with consultants and the community to identify concepts and produce visual renditions was really important – it helps build community support for the project and is a powerful tool for raising funds.”

The 26-acre state park holds various annual events, including fireworks, concerts, movies and children’s activities, and has been hit by previous flooding, including Hurricane Sandy in 2012. To address the impacts of climate change, design elements include grading the shoreline, installing bank stabilization features – such as ice breaker boulders – and planting native wetland and upland vegetation for erosion control and improved habitat.

Dockside Park on the Hudson River render of the Living Shoreline
A visual rendition of the living shoreline as shown in the final report.

The final product from the preliminary design project funded by NEIWPCC included a design and implementation report that was delivered to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS Parks) in the fall of 2014. Ultimately, this initial design work and public outreach led to NYS Parks securing the funding for final engineering, permitting and construction. The improvements will enhance 750 feet of Hudson River shoreline.

NYSDEC announced the project funding in December 2021, and anticipate construction to be completed in September 2022.

Active construction of the new shoreline at Dockside Park, New York.
Active construction of the new shoreline, March 2022. Photo credit: Dan Miller.

“These kinds of projects take time,” Miller said. “The goal is to position a project so when the time is right, we’re ready to go. It took seven years, but we did it.”

Learn more about the Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project.

View the Dockside Park case study.