Kingston Celebrates Progress in Waterfront Revitalization and Resilience
Waterfront Resilience Summit and High Water Festival to be held on Friday, October 19th at Rondout Landing
KINGSTON – Mayor Steve Noble proudly announces the Waterfront Resilience Summit and High Water Festival, an event that will highlight the past, present and future of the Rondout Creek and Hudson River waterfronts. The event will be held on Friday, October 19th from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Kingston’s Rondout Landing and will showcase the progress that the City has made towards revitalization of the waterfront, while adapting to projected flooding and inundation caused by sea level rise and extreme storms related to a changing climate. Activities and exhibits will be offered at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, Kingston Home Port and Education Center, and at the Historic Cornell Steamboat Building.
The day-long event will begin with the Waterfront Resilience Summit, a conference hosted by Mayor Noble that will include a Mayor’s Forum on Innovation and Resiliency to discuss resilience initiatives, a tour of the waterfront and waste water treatment plant to showcase techniques for flood adaptation, and a presentation on resilient designs for the Kingston waterfront that were produced by students from the Cornell University Landscape Architecture Department’s Climate-adaptive Design Studio. The Waterfront Resilience Summit, which will run from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, is targeted toward Kingston area and Hudson Valley municipal officials and environmental professionals. The public is also welcome to attend.
“With a changing climate, extreme weather and related flooding now an ever-present danger, we must continue to advance our resiliency efforts and do everything we can to protect our natural assets,” said Mayor Noble. “We are fortunate to have a large network of partners working together on local initiatives, as well as strong leadership in New York State leading the charge to protect our environment.”
The capstone of the Waterfront Resilience Summit is the High Water Festival, a family-friendly event that provides the opportunity for residents to enjoy all that Rondout Landing has to offer while learning about steps that the City is taking to embrace innovation and opportunity on Kingston’s waterfront. The event will include exhibits about Kingston’s waterways, food, music, kids’ activities and a performance by Arm of the Sea Theater. The High Water Festival will take place from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm and is free and open to the public.
High Water Festival activities and exhibits will be offered all along Rondout Landing:
- The Kingston Home Port and Education Center will host exhibits related to Kingston’s past as a maritime and industrial hub, and will feature historic photos and information about the waterfront.
- The Maritime Museum yard will be transformed into a venue for fun kids’ activities related to environmental stewardship.
- The Hudson River Maritime Museum will be open to visitors, and its Boat School building will feature exhibits related to current efforts by the City of Kingston to promote waterfront revitalization and resilience.
- The American Red Cross will help participants assemble emergency response kits to have on hand in order to be prepared for flooding or other crises that may create the need to evacuate from homes or offices. The emergency kits and supplies are provided free to attendees on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The Historic Cornell Steamboat Building will be open to visitors, and will feature an exhibition of work from the Cornell University Landscape Architecture Department’s Climate-adaptive Design Studio that envisions the future of the Kingston waterfront.
- The event will also feature an illuminated “Pathway to the Future”, a food court, featuring meals provided by local restaurants and musical performances by Future350 NU Bossa, Malcolm Burn and Sandrine, Rachel Loshak and Robert Burke Warren, and Eleni Reyes and Peter Wetzler.
- A performance of The City that Drinks the Mountain Sky: Part 2 by Arm of the Sea Theater will take place in the Kingston Home Port and Education Center at 7:00 pm.
The City of Kingston is recognized as a leader in the Hudson Valley and New York State for its proactive approach to addressing climate change related hazards. The City was the first community in the Hudson Valley to host a Waterfront Resilience Task Force, in partnership with Scenic Hudson, Consensus Building Institute and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program. The Waterfront Resilience Task Force formed in 2013 and undertook a risk assessment process that resulted in recommendations to reduce flood vulnerability on the waterfront. Since that time, Kingston has worked to fulfill recommendations and implement projects to increase resilience of waterfront infrastructure and amenities. Kingston was an early-adopter of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities Program, and is one of only a handful of municipalities in the state that has earned a Silver Certification. In partnership with the Hudson River Estuary Program, Kingston has been the host community for three semesters of the Cornell University Landscape Architecture Department’s Climate-adaptive Design Studio, a course that connects students with Hudson Valley communities to envision methods for revitalizing waterfronts while reducing flood vulnerability.
“Thanks to the efforts of our Climate Smart Community partners, New York is out in front, building resiliency to our changing climate county by county, town by town, and village by village, helping local governments, business owners, and residents reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The City of Kingston is one of the first cities in New York to achieve Silver Certification in the Climate Smart Communities Program, and is taking several steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Kingston is also planning for sea-level rise through the Waterfront Resilience Task Force, improving the flood-readiness of city infrastructure, and working with DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program to assure a vibrant future for the Hudson River and Rondout Creek waterfronts.”
The Waterfront Resilience Summit and High Water Festival is made possible through a grant from the National League of Cities (NLC). Kingston has been honored by recognition from the NLC’s Sustainable Cities Institute, which highlights climate leadership in local government. Additional sponsors of the event include the Hudson River Maritime Museum and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County. Partners include the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, Historic Kingston Waterfront Cornell Steamboat Building, Cornell University, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Clove & Creek, Hops Petunia, Rondout Inn, Storefront Gallery, Climate Smart Kingston Commission and the Rondout Riverport Community Coalition. For more information about all of Kingston’s initiatives to address flooding and other responses to climate change, visit the Energy and Sustainability page on the city’s website at https://www.kingston-ny.gov/Sustainability. For additional information, contact Julie Noble, City of Kingston Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator, at JulieLNoble@kingston-ny.gov or 845-481-7339.
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