Waterfront Justice Project Interactive Map

As the threats of climate change increase, destructive storms like Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Harvey will expose the vulnerabilities of costal communities overburdened by industrial and chemical facilities. Click the preview of the map below to launch the Waterfront Justice Project Interactive Map where you can explore these communities!

Of interest are NYC’s Significant Maritime and Industrial Areas (SMIAs), clusters of industry and polluting infrastructure along the waterfront. SMIAs are located in classic environmental justice communities- predominantly low-income communities of color – in the South Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, which are also hurricane storm surge zones. The Waterfront Justice Project is a research and advocacy campaign focusing on community resiliency that seeks to reduce potential toxic exposures and public health risks associated with climate change and storm surge in the City’s industrial waterfront. The Waterfront Justice Project Interactive Map is a collaborative effort between NYC-EJA and the Scientist Action and Advocacy Network (ScAAN), aiming to visualize maps created by NYC-EJA through our Waterfront Justice Project (WJP).

Waterfront Justice Project Interactive Map


  • At the invitation of the City Council, NYC-EJA advised Council staffers on proposed amendments to the Community Right-to-Know law (which requires facilities that handle hazardous substances to annually report what chemicals are used/stored, and how their emergency planning protects first responders and the public in the case of fire, spills or accidental chemical release). NYC Local Law 143 (2013) amends the Right-to-Know law to now include coastal storm surge and hurricane evacuation zones as part of the geography established to: a) require that facilities report the presence of hazardous substances; and b) develop a “risk management plan” to prevent the release of hazardous substances during potential flooding and other extreme weather events.

  • NYC-EJA worked with our members in SMIA communities on a reform campaign to overhaul NYC’s coastal zone management plan known as the Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP). Approved by the City Planning Commission and City Council in October 2013, the WRP will for the first time:

    • Consider climate change impacts – climate adaptation measures are included in Policy 6 (flooding and erosion) and are woven throughout the WRP, including in Policy 2 (maritime and industrial development)
    • Mandate vulnerability assessments by new industrial businesses seeking to site in SMIA’s;
    • Ensure that vulnerability assessments reveal potential impacts on residents and workers;
    • Consider risks associated with open storage of hazardous materials during extreme weather; and
    • Include design guidelines for coastal development.
Waterfront Alliance: Resilience Champion: Jalisa Gilmore (06/11/2020)
Gotham Gazette: Offshore Wind, Offshore Justice (03/13/2018)
Kings County Politics: ‘Tish’ Confronts Climate Change at BMCC Summit(11/30/2017)
Hunts Point Express: Pilot project helps auto businesses go green (08/09/2017)
CUNY TV: Still Struggling (11/11/2015)
News 12 Brooklyn: New map shows toxic spill areas in Brooklyn (04/13/2015)
Huffington Post: Now Will Obama Break His Climate Silence? (01/08/2013)