Albany, NY—On Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul signed two pieces of legislation supported strongly by Save the Sound: A05221A, the Living Shorelines bill, and S5400, the Flood Disclosure bill. (Read the Governor’s press release.)
“After several years of work, we’re thrilled to see the Living Shorelines and Flood Disclosure bills become law,” said David Ansel, vice president of water protection for Save the Sound. “The Governor’s signature and the overwhelming support in the legislature show New York’s leaders understand that we must take action to adapt to the stronger storms and rising sea levels of climate change. Using natural features such as native marsh grasses and shellfish reef, instead of hardened structures like seawalls, benefits shoreline communities, wildlife, and water quality. Ensuring transparency about flood risks helps individuals and communities make wise decisions for their futures. We thank Governor Hochul and the bills’ sponsors for their leadership. Now we look forward to working with partners across the region to these bills’ promise into healthier, more resilient coastlines and communities.”
Living Shorelines, Save the Sound’s top legislative priority in New York for the last two years, passed the Assembly in a June special session, two weeks after the bill passed the Senate. The bill authorizes and encourages the use of nature-based solutions as the state’s preferred alternative for stabilizing New York’s tidal shorelines. Nature-based solutions include coastal marshes, dunes, rain gardens, and other constructed or restored features that replicate the functions of natural landscapes. The bill was sponsored by Senator Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman Steve Otis, both of Westchester County.
Last year, New York passed a flood risk disclosure law for renters. This year’s Flood Disclosure bill builds on that, establishing a long-overdue flood risk “right to know” for homebuyers. It requires disclosure of information about flood risk and insurance on property condition disclosure statements for real property, and closes a loophole in previous law that let owners opt-out of disclosure through paying a $500 fee.
# # #