top of page


Policy Implications & Implementation Considerations


Comprehensive emotional, psychological and wellbeing support services

starting now

Climate change is an existential issue and the human response is often a spectrum of emotions. Climate grief can take the form of denial, rationalization, and discrediting science. 

Health & Wellbeing

Increased funding for new and existing wellbeing programs in the community

Offer up services for community members to grapple with the changes to come

Maintain existing community support systems and ensure support systems are set up in the new location

2020   2025    2030    2035   2040    2045    2050   2055    2060    2065   2070    2075    2080   2085    2090    2095   2100    


Leverage Policy to Maintain, Grow and Support Local Economy & Jobs 


The Build Community Reinvestment Act, Green New Deal, and Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act are just a few local, state, and federal policies that could be leveraged to support the people of the Rockaways facing climate change difficulties

Frontline workers, CBO's carrying out community engagement

Employ community members to go door to door to educate, inform, and gather feedback on retreat

Create jobs in demolition & remediation as people are relocated

2020   2025    2030    2035   2040    2045    2050   2055    2060    2065   2070    2075    2080   2085    2090    2095   2100    


Mandate Bottom-up Comprehensive Planning through Policy Creation in government

Climate change is not going to affect every community equally; some communities, in particular communities of

color and low income communities, will experience disproportionate impacts

SDG v3

SDG v4

SDG v5

SDG v6

Include human rights and climate change into the new scope of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to come

Mandate Comprehensive Planning must be done with bottom up approach

Halt development on ecologically vulnerable sites and sites destroyed during a disaster

2020   2025    2030    2035   2040    2045    2050   2055    2060    2065   2070    2075    2080   2085    2090    2095   2100    

SDG v2










Proactive remediation and green infrastructure to maintain the natural ecology of the peninsula

Increased ecological programs like the RISE Dune Enhancement Program

Research to understand the effects of sea level rise on marshland in the bay

Begin remediation of vacant lots in the area​ for green infrastructure 

Initiate work on the marsh restoration and remediation plans

Continue to remediate the land and shift to creating jobs for ongoing work

2020   2025    2030    2035   2040    2045    2050   2055    2060    2065   2070    2075    2080   2085    2090    2095   2100    

Community Engagement

Retreat will have an enormous impact on the people of the Rockaways. Community lead engagement needs to build trust & understanding

2020   2025    2030    2035   2040    2045    2050   2055    2060    2065   2070    2075    2080   2085    2090    2095   2100    

Utilize networks of Community Based Org's to build trust amongst residents — local community must lead the conversation & transition process

Educating the community about the future (climate change, sea level rise, other issues at present)

Perpetual, ongoing community workshops, climate change education, and relocation assistance

Creation of a community engagement taskforce

Ongoing formal & informal community engagement meeting residents where they are — physically, emotionally, and awareness level


Prioritize choice of housing for vulnerable & underserved populations. 

Residents with greater means will have increase mobility and choice in actions in response to climate change. They will need less assistance and be the first to retreat or adapt. Avoid a repeat of the 1950s

Identify varying needs of homeowners, private renters, and public housing tenants through public engagement and CBOs discussions

Prioritize engagement with vulnerable populations that have the least mobility & resources to retreat

Identify needs & strategize for intermediary housing of public housing/subsidized housing tenants

Begin relocation of individuals and famlies

Begin group based migration, based upon results of the "Relocation Engagement Framework" workshop engagement

2020   2025    2030    2035   2040    2045    2050   2055    2060    2065   2070    2075    2080   2085    2090    2095   2100    


Around 2050 — ground based transportation will impacted by sea rise.

Alternatives, engagement, and education for the community need to happen simultaneously  while city and regional transportation agencies plan for service changes

Transit & Access

Maintain physical transportation infrastructure that promotes relocation in neighboring communities and access during transition periods

Visioning workshops & education for residents to understand transit options based off of relocation options & jobs

2020   2025    2030    2035   2040    2045    2050   2055    2060    2065   2070    2075    2080   2085    2090    2095   2100    

Community visioning & education to identify existing water-based economies, job creation,  awareness building.

Demolition & remediation of existing infrastructure — rerouting of existing transit that will be affected

Where People Will Go

Extensive early & often community engagement, education, resources, and funds to empower people with choice

Early community engagement starts by using the "Relocation Engagement Framework" while advocating for political and governmental change

2020   2025    2030    2035   2040    2045    2050   2055    2060    2065   2070    2075    2080   2085    2090    2095   2100    

Identify community stakeholders — distinct groups, populations, CBOs, community leaders to be part of the discussion and visioning

Community workshops based on the "Relocation Engagement Framework" begin. 

Identification of possible places for relocation through the short/medium term workshopping for community to understand their sense of place & home not just individual aspects

Develop inclusive and equity-driven phased plan of retreat to alternative locations

Identification of new & intermediary sites for housing. Beginning moves of municipalities to work out infrastructure, social, and cultural needs of the influx of residents who are coming into a new area to live

bottom of page