Who we Are and Why we Exist

The Metropolitan NY-NJ-LI Storm Surge Working Group (SSWG) is a professional alliance of experienced urban planners, community leaders, marine and atmospheric scientists, engineers, architects, environmentalists, social scientists and media specialists drawn from across the tri-state region.

Formed soon after Superstorm Sandy devastated the eastern seaboard in October 2012, the SSWG brings together world-class science, engineering, planning and advocacy to find cost-effective ways to protect Metropolitan New York, northern New Jersey, Long Island and western Connecticut from the twin threats of extreme storm surges (associated with hurricanes and winter nor’easters) and rising sea levels (associated with ocean warming and melting ice masses).

In this era of rapid climate change, both threats, alone or in combination lead to serious threats to the livability, security and prosperity of the Nation’s largest and most important metropolis in the years, decades and centuries ahead. Such intertwined threats demand regional solutions that transcend both geographic and political boundaries.

Our Mission and Sphere of Influence

The SSWG seeks regional perspectives and solutions to serious coastal flooding issues within the Lower Bay (Raritan Bay), Upper Bay (NY Harbor and Port Elizabeth), all five Boroughs of NYC, the shores of Long Island, western Connecticut and both banks of the lower Hudson River, including their many rivers, tributaries, harbors, inlets and backbays.

Over this vast domain of low topography we have built our sophisticated industrial and commercial infrastructure, seaports, airports, land transportation hubs, public health facilities, food distribution networks and residential communities. Most or all are at risk of future damage anddestruction by surging and rising seas.

The SSWG advances cost-effective initiatives andenlightened policies to ensure the support lasting solutions appropriate to, and effective for, the next 100 years.

We Work With Others

We enjoy a close working relationship with the National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure (NICHI USA) whose mission is to promote robust solutions to the deteriorating condition and increasing exposure of the nation’s ports and harbors. We also interact with many governmental and non-governmental professional, commercial, educational, environmental and community organizations that realize the urgency of the threats and share our concern for the future viability of the Metropolis.


Superstorm Sandy Image: NOAA

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The destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy left many without their homes, employment and basic amenities. Representative photos shown were taken along the south shore of Long Island and the eastern shore of NJ where many homes, businesses , industries and transportation systems were flooded , destroyed or burned to the ground.

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During Superstorm Sandy's aftermath, communities banned together to assist in the recovery from the widespread damage. The Metropolitan Storm Surge Working Group examines and promotes cost-effective and environmentally safe solutions to avoid future damages and loss of life and property from extreme weather events including hurricanes and winter nor'easters.

Executive Committee discussion of flooding issues at the historic Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan, which was was seriously flooded and damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

The Metro NY-NJ-LI Storm Surge Working Group meets regularly in New York City, and via virtual platfroms, to discuss important issues related to the safety and security of Metropolitan New York, Northern New Jersey, and Long Island.