Waterfront Conference 2023 has ended
Monday, May 8

8:00am EDT

8:00am EDT

Waterfront Scholars Breakfast
The diverse group of college and graduate students who make up the 2023 Waterfront Scholars cohort are invited to a special breakfast to begin your journey at the conference. Meet with with Waterfront Alliance leadership and the sponsor of this year's Scholars program, the NYC Economic Development Corporation.

Hosted by:

Monday May 8, 2023 8:00am - 8:40am EDT
Keeping History Room (3rd Floor)

8:45am EDT

Opening Plenary: “Show Us the Money”—Momentous Federal Funding and the New Congress
Rohit Aggarwala, Commissioner and Chief Climate Officer, NYC Department of Environmental Protection

PANEL: "Show Us the Money"—Momentous Federal Funding and the New Congress (9:25-10:15am)
This high-level panel explores the current state of federal legislation, the distribution of funding to states, the role of the states, how funding makes its way to sustainability, renewable energy, and resilience projects and local communities, and what to look for in the years ahead. Continuing the discussion from last spring’s Waterfront Conference on federal funding, speakers will cover the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Justice40, the Inflation Reduction Act, New York and New Jersey State funding, and other federal programs.

Speakers: Lisa Flavia Garcia, Col. Matthew W. Luzzatto, Laurie Schoeman, Dr. Rachel Silverstein.
Moderator: Kathy Robb

avatar for Rohit

Rohit "Rit" Aggarwala

Commissioner and Chief Climate Officer, NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Rohit T. “Rit” Aggarwala is a widely recognized expert on urban sustainability, technology, and mobility. He led the creation of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, founded the environmental grantmaking program at Bloomberg... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Garcia

Lisa Garcia

Regional Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2
Lisa Flavia Garcia serves as regional administrator for EPA’s Region 2 office covering New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally recognized Indian Nations. Lisa is an environmental lawyer who has advocated for environmental and climate justice... Read More →
avatar for Col. Matthew W. Luzzatto

Col. Matthew W. Luzzatto

Commander and District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Colonel Matthew W. Luzzatto assumed command of USACE, New York District, on June 25, 2020. He is responsible for the Corps’ water resource development, navigation, and regulatory activities in northeastern New Jersey, eastern and south-central New York State (including the New York... Read More →
avatar for Kathy Robb

Kathy Robb

Founder and Principal, Robb Water Partners LLC
Kathy Robb is a nationally-recognized environmental lawyer in water and the founder of Robb Water Partners LLC, a water policy and law consultancy, and a founding director of BlueCommons, Inc., a nonprofit revolving fund establishing a national community Blue Bank to support sustainable... Read More →
avatar for Laurie Schoeman

Laurie Schoeman

Senior Advisor for Climate Resilience, Executive Office of the President, The White House, Council on Environmental Quality
Laurie Schoeman is the senior advisor on climate resilience to the White House Executive Office of the President’s Council for Environmental Quality. She most recently served as the director of climate and sustainability for Enterprise Community Investment.  Laurie is a deeply... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Silverstein

Rachel Silverstein

Executive Director, Miami Waterkeeper
Dr. Rachel Silverstein, a lifelong clean water enthusiast, serves as equal parts investigator, scientist, educator, and legal advocate, functioning as the public spokesperson for our watershed and protecting your right to clean water. As Miami Waterkeeper executive director and Waterkeeper... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 8:45am - 10:15am EDT
Safra Hall (1st Floor)

10:15am EDT

10:45am EDT

Affordable Housing Should Be a National Climate Adaptation Strategy
Displacement and migration due to climate impacts are now commonplace. Hurricane Ian and other recent major events have laid bare the need for national, holistic policy for relocation that is forced upon communities by climate change. This panel explores the role affordable housing must play in relocation and climate migration as part of the country’s growing response to climate change. Failed comprehensive planning can result in furthering housing disparities, loss of personal assets, homelessness, and speculative real estate development after disaster. Speakers explore these challenges along with solutions that can advance through national and state-level housing policy.

avatar for Emily Goldstein

Emily Goldstein

Director of Organizing & Advocacy, Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development
Emily Goldstein is ANHD's director of organizing and advocacy. She oversees ANHD’s campaigns, working with staff, member organizations, and allies to win impactful policy reforms while building power across the community development movement. Emily is a lifelong New Yorker and has... Read More →
avatar for Spencer Orkus

Spencer Orkus

President of Development, L+M Development Partners
Spencer Orkus is the president of development and partner at L+M Development Partners. He joined the company in 2007 and has developed over 5,000 affordable units within various mixed-use new construction projects compiling over $2.5 billion in financing resources. Spencer leads L+M’s... Read More →
avatar for Matthew Washington

Matthew Washington

Vice President & Chief of Staff, Phipps Houses
Matthew S. Washington is Vice President & Chief of Staff of Phipps Houses – New York City’s oldest and largest nonprofit developer of affordable housing. He is responsible for overseeing all public affairs, focusing on pursuing opportunities to create more affordable housing... Read More →
avatar for Alex Zablocki

Alex Zablocki

Executive Director, Public Housing Community Fund
Alex Zablocki is a veteran public servant with nearly two decades of experience working with nonprofit organizations and government agencies at all levels. Prior to joining the Public Housing Community Fund, Alex served for five years as executive director of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 10:45am - 11:45am EDT
Safra Hall (1st Floor)

10:45am EDT

No Turbines Yet, But Offshore Wind Is Here
Join a discussion and conversation that orients us to the players, locations, planning, construction, and timelines for the offshore wind deployment underway in New York and New Jersey.  Along with the basics of the field, questions speakers will cover include: who are all the developers? What are New York State and New Jersey doing with the industry now? What will be built and when? Who is partnered with whom?

Panel sponsored by:

avatar for Sid Nathan

Sid Nathan

Vice President, External Affairs, Rise Light & Power
Sid Nathan is vice president for external affairs at Rise Light & Power, where he oversees government and stakeholder relations, brand marketing, media relations, and policy advocacy.Sid previously served New York State as the communications director of the Long Island Power Authority... Read More →
avatar for Carol Oldham

Carol Oldham

Northeast Director, Business Network for Offshore Wind
Carol Oldham joined the Business Network in 2022 as its northeast director. She works with members and supply chain companies in the region, focused on outreach and supply chain training to historically underrepresented communities in Massachusetts and the surrounding region.Prior... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 10:45am - 11:45am EDT
Keeping History Room (3rd Floor)

10:45am EDT

How to Get to 80X50 – Understanding N.J.’s Aggressive Mitigation Commitments
Meeting the goal of reducing carbon dioxide equivalent emissions to 80% below their 2006 levels by 2050 is an important, yet difficult accomplishment. From setting aggressive clean energy commitments to enhancing support for solar and offshore wind, creating unprecedented cross-jurisdictional cooperation, and centering the state’s most vulnerable communities, New Jersey is taking bold action to address climate change. This panel will explore the state’s recent mitigation commitments, policies, and investments and how these can be a model for the rest of the country.

avatar for Sean D. Moriarty

Sean D. Moriarty

Deputy Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Sean Moriarty serves as deputy commissioner for legal, regulatory and legislative affairs to Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Sean leads DEP’s internal legal team and serves as its general counsel on all matters of regulatory... Read More →
avatar for David Pringle

David Pringle

Principal Consultant, Clean Water Action
David Pringle is a veteran public interest advocate, campaign strategist and community organizer. Serving over 20 years as its N.J. campaign director and for the past five years as a consultant, he’s been in the forefront with Clean Water Action helping win precedent-setting environmental... Read More →
avatar for Marcus Sibley

Marcus Sibley

Environmental & Climate Justice Committee Chair, NAACP N.J. State Conference
Marcus Sibley, MSW is an environmental and social justice activist with a deep and profound commitment to equity, progress, and accessibility to clean water, clean air, and clean and safe community spaces. The Newark, New Jersey native began as a family therapist, following receiving... Read More →
avatar for Daniel Sieger

Daniel Sieger

Head of Development, Community Offshore Wind
Daniel is Community Offshore Wind’s head of development. He leads the development work stream overseeing permitting, marine affairs, and stakeholder relations.  Daniel is currently a project development director with RWE Offshore America, where he is responsible for overseeing... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 10:45am - 11:45am EDT
Room 115 (1st Floor)

10:45am EDT

Managing Social Media’s Role in Community Engagement Efforts
Social media plays a rarely explored role in communications that occur to and within communities facing neighborhood-scale changes from infrastructure projects. This panel discusses social media as both a driver of support and of opposition, and the ways project practitioners can manage and address its power and drawbacks. Changes in the use of Twitter will be addressed as well as the role of social media in crisis communications.

avatar for Melissa Aronczyk

Melissa Aronczyk

Associate Professor, Rutgers University
Melissa Aronczyk is an associate professor in the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University. She is the co-author, with Maria Espinoza, of A Strategic Nature: Public Relations and the Politics of American Environmentalism (2022). Her research on strategic communication... Read More →
avatar for Aria Cochran

Aria Cochran

Director of Communications, Waterfront Alliance
Aria Cochran is the director of communications at Waterfront Alliance where she works collaboratively across all departments to elevate the organization’s mission through digital and traditional media. Prior to joining the Waterfront Alliance, Aria served on the communications teams... Read More →
avatar for Trever Holland

Trever Holland

Parks, Recreation, Waterfront and Resiliency Committee & Board President, TUFF-LES (Tenants United Fighting For the Lower East Side), Chair, Community Board 3
Trever Holland is the chair of Community Board 3’s Parks, Recreation, Resiliency and Waterfront Committee in Manhattan, New York. He is also the president of Tenants United Fighting for the Lower East Side (TUFF-LES) and the co-founder of the Friends of Pier 35. Trever has lived... Read More →
avatar for Dahvi Wilson

Dahvi Wilson

VP Public Affairs, Apex Clean Energy
For over a decade, Dahvi Wilson has dedicated her career to enhancing community engagement approaches for clean energy siting. As the vice president of public affairs for Apex Clean Energy, Dahvi built and directed an industry-leading public affairs team, focused on preserving and... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 10:45am - 11:45am EDT
Room 118 (1st Floor)

10:45am EDT

How to Get Major Infrastructure Projects Done—An Audience Roundtable Exploring Major Challenges and Best Practices
Join a critical conversation at this year’s Waterfront Conference where we explore the major opportunities, challenges, and barriers to infrastructure projects. Questions to cover include: What do operators and owners need to ensure a project is built on time and on budget? What does government need and how do consultants help? What are the systemic barriers to implementation? How do we ensure equity in project design and funding are a part of every project? What lessons did we learn from Hurricane Sandy when there was a last major influx of funding? Starting with short presentations by leading voices on these issues, the session continues with the audience joining roundtable discussions covering a set of the above questions. Participants will share their expertise and learn from peers on these critical questions. Report-outs from the tables and responses from the panelists conclude the hour.

Panel sponsored by:

avatar for Damian Bednarz

Damian Bednarz

Managing Director, Attentive Energy
Damian Bednarz leads the Attentive Energy team and is responsible for managing day-to-day operations and resources of Attentive Energy to implement its business and project development strategies across multiple markets. Damian also serves as Attentive Energy’s primary external... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Bowles

Jonathan Bowles

Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future
Jonathan Bowles is executive director of the Center for an Urban Future, a leading NYC-based think tank that focuses on expanding economic opportunity in New York City. During his 21 years at the organization, he has been the architect of the Center’s policy agenda and is responsible... Read More →
avatar for Brian Matthews

Brian Matthews

Senior Advisor, Brown & Weinraub
Brian Matthews is pleased to bring his vast experience in government, and as a member of an advisory firm working with companies who are leading the way to a more sustainable future, to the Waterfront Alliance’s annual Waterfront Conference. An expert in government procurement and... Read More →
avatar for Peggy Shepard

Peggy Shepard

Co-Founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Peggy Shepard is co-founder and executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice and has a long history of organizing and engaging Northern Manhattan residents in community-based planning and campaigns to address environmental protection and environmental health policy locally... Read More →
avatar for David Tweedy

David Tweedy

SVP Program Management and Business Development, BRAVO Inc.
David Tweedy joined BRAVO Group in 2019 after a 40-year career working on large-scale infrastructure projects, in both the public and private sectors. His public sector work has included executive positions at NYC Transit, N.Y.’s Dept of Environmental Protection and the Port Authority... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 10:45am - 11:55am EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)

11:45am EDT

Break / Visit the Expo
Monday May 8, 2023 11:45am - 12:00pm EDT

12:00pm EDT

Monday May 8, 2023 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)

1:00pm EDT

Heather M. Morgan Climate Risk Adaptation Lecture
The Heather M. Morgan Climate Risk Adaptation Lecture honors the memory of Heather Morgan, noted climate risk adaptation expert, and her contributions to the field of sustainability. Heather dedicated her career to redefining the relationship between our human inhabitation and the natural system utilizing a transdisciplinary approach. She used her formidable oratory skills to educate people and empower them to advocate for their communities because she felt that unless people understood the dynamic, there would be no real progress. Heather was herself a force of nature who brought boundless energy, genuine integrity, and limitless passion to her work.

Each year the Morgan Lecture series highlights outstanding women in climate and climate resilience leadership. Now in its second year, the Heather Morgan Lecture features a personal conversation between two extraordinary women in the field—one a veteran trailblazer and the other an up-and-coming climate design expert. The accomplishments and dialogue between Terry Doss and Sarah Dougherty will showcase the values, skills, and insights of Heather Morgan.

The Lecture series is supported by an endowed fund in order to bring top speakers to the Waterfront Conference. Fund supporters are:

Premier Corporate Sponsor

$10,000 and above
Battery Park City Authority
J.M. Kaplan Fund

$5,000 – $9,999
SiteWorks Landscape Architecture

$1,000 – $4,999
Nora Madonick, CEO, Arch Street Communications

Up to $999
Susan Ainsworth
Nanci Bateman
Pierre Boucicaut
Emory G. Lee
Craig McCaw
Kate McLetchie-Sheldon
Morgan Landscape Group
Jackie Snyder
Marc Tuozzolo

avatar for Terry Doss

Terry Doss

Co Director MRRI, New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority
Terry Doss, CERP, is a restoration ecologist who serves as co-director and chief restoration scientist of MRRI. Over the past 35 years, Terry has served as a local leader in restoring the natural areas located within the urban wildlands of New York and New Jersey, with a primary expertise... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Dougherty, WEDG

Sarah Dougherty, WEDG

Community Engagement Manager for Offshore Development, Invenergy
Sarah Dougherty, a senior associate with Karp Strategies, is an urban planner and climate resilience specialist with deep experience in waterfront planning and design for sea-level rise, business development, stakeholder engagement, and advocacy. She has over a decade of experience... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 1:00pm - 1:40pm EDT
Safra Hall (1st Floor)

1:40pm EDT

2:00pm EDT

The Harbor and Tributaries Study: What We Need to Know Now
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ NY & NJ Harbor & Tributaries Focus Area Feasibility Study (HATS), designed to ensure comprehensive solutions to historic flooding, has been met with both enthusiasm and consternation. This discussion considers what the region might realistically expect from the Army Corps of Engineers, both states, and New York City for HATS funding, implementation, and execution of projects. What are the right planning projections? How do we justify billions in investment that may not protect us before 2040 or 2050? Among the focal points for discussion are timelines, costs, state and federal processes, and other non-project, non-technical aspects of the study.

avatar for Phil Bedient

Phil Bedient

Herman Brown Professor of Engineering, Rice University
Dr. Philip B. Bedient is the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and director of the SSPEED Center at Rice University. He teaches and performs research in surface water hydrology, disaster management, and flood modeling and prediction systems (FIRST & FAS5). He has directed over... Read More →
avatar for Dale Morris

Dale Morris

Chief Resilience Officer, City of Charleston
Dale Morris is chief resilience officer for the city of Charleston, S.C. Dale's primary role is the integration of comprehensive water management, planning and adaptation processes into city policy, land-use, and water projects, and the addition of broader resilience approaches to... Read More →
avatar for Sahana Rao

Sahana Rao

Staff Attorney, N.Y. Regional Team and Environment, Equity & Justice Center, Natural Resources Defense Council
Sahana Rao (she/they) uses legal and policy tools to support communities of color, low-income communities, and environmental justice coalitions in the New York/Northeast region and across the country. Prior to joining NRDC, they practiced environmental law as an associate attorney... Read More →
avatar for Tyler Taba, WEDG

Tyler Taba, WEDG

Senior Manager for Climate Policy, Waterfront Alliance
Tyler Taba joined Waterfront Alliance in January 2022 as the senior manager for climate policy. He is charged with developing climate change policy and strategy, leading the coordination and convening of the Rise to Resilience coalition, and identifying changes and trends in climate... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Safra Hall (1st Floor)

2:00pm EDT

Offshore Wind: Sustainability, Nature, and Ecology
The ocean can be a crowded place. A home for marine mammals, fish, and shellfish, as well as human infrastructure—our oceans are a key to our future and the future of the planet. The environmental impacts of offshore wind farms on habitats, aquatic life, and birds has been a subject of research and analysis focused on determining the role of offshore wind in ocean systems and wildlife. This panel reviews the potential impacts to animal life and ecology, current environmental research, biodiversity metrics, and opportunities to mitigate impacts.

avatar for Anthony Dvarskas

Anthony Dvarskas

Regional Biodiversity Lead, Offshore, Orsted
Anthony Dvarskas leads Orsted’s strategy for implementing its commitment to a net-positive impact on biodiversity for all offshore North American projects commissioned from 2030. He joined Orsted from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, where he assisted... Read More →
avatar for Kris Ohleth

Kris Ohleth

Director, Special Initiative on Offshore Wind
Kris Ohleth has worked in the offshore wind sector for over 20 years, since the days of the industry’s inception in the United States, and is a true expert in the field. Holding senior positions with offshore wind developers, NGOs, and state agencies, she has gained critical insights... Read More →
avatar for Joy Reidenberg

Joy Reidenberg

Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Joy S. Reidenberg, Ph.D. is a comparative anatomist, specializing in cetacean anatomy.  She is a Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY.  She graduated Cornell University (B.A. 1983) and Mount Sinai’s Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (M.Phil. 1986... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Room 115 (1st Floor)

2:00pm EDT

On Track for More Marine Plastic than Fish by 2050
Plastic use has increased dramatically over the past twenty years. The United States is one of the world's largest consumers of plastics and produces more plastic waste than any other country. Plastic bag bans in New York and New Jersey are steps in the right direction, but more is required at the local, state, and federal levels to tackle this monumental issue. This panel will discuss the problems and solutions at the local level and explore efforts from around the nation and the world that can serve as examples of a path toward comprehensive regional solutions.

avatar for James Cervino

James Cervino

President & Chief Scientist, Coastal Preservation Network
Dr. James M. Cervino received a bachelor's degree from New York University that focused on earth science and physical anthropology, a master's from Boston University in marine biology and a Ph.D. in marine science & pathology from University of South Carolina. His research interest... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer M. Coffey

Jennifer M. Coffey

Executive Director, ANJEC
Jennifer M. Coffey joined the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) in July 2014 as executive director. Jennifer serves as a member of the New Jersey State Water Supply Advisory Council and as an advisor to the New Jersey State Clean Water Council. She serves... Read More →
avatar for Thania Peck

Thania Peck

Sustainability Advisor/ Content Creator/ United Nations consultant, Catcher in the Style
The creative director of Catcher in the Style, Thania is a powerhouse in the fashion and beauty industry, working as a content creator, an activist for sustainability, and an advocate for climate positivity across said industries. She currently serves as an ambassador to multiple youth charities, is a mentor and nonprofit volunteer, a United Nations partner, and she works closely with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation... Read More →
avatar for Beizhan Yan

Beizhan Yan

Lamont Associate Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
Dr. Beizhan Yan received his Ph.D. in 2004 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. and currently is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University. In 2007, he joined LDEO, and since then, he has established an environmental... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Keeping History Room (3rd Floor)

2:00pm EDT

Deferred Wharf and Pier Maintenance – Challenges and Opportunities
The Port of New York and New Jersey is now the largest in the country and one of the oldest. Similar to other infrastructure in the northeast, years of deferred maintenance have accumulated while the challenges of climate change bear down on the region. Pier and wharf replacement and restoration in the New York–New Jersey harbor could require billions of dollars in investment to keep land-based port operations at current levels. This panel explores how government and the private sector must rise to the challenge and the implications for our regional economy. Discussion includes the role of public-private partnerships, funding sources, and what policies and priorities must be addressed by both states for a sustainable future. The panel also considers what models for funding and project delivery exist in other parts of the country that can play a role in meeting this challenge.

avatar for Stephen Famularo

Stephen Famularo

Senior Vice President and East Coast Maritime Lead, WSP USA, Inc.
Steve Famularo is a senior vice president and the east coast maritime lead for WSP USA. He is a professional engineer, certified commercial diver, and board-certified port engineer with over 26 years of experience in maritime engineering including underwater inspection, marine structure... Read More →
avatar for Patricia Gaynor

Patricia Gaynor

Supervisor of Engineering, Office of Ports & Water, US DOT Maritime Administration
Patricia Gaynor is the supervisor of engineering in the Office of Ports & Waterways, USDOT Maritime Administration. She has specialized in the design, construction and asset management of waterfront facilities. She has a master's in structural engineering from the University of Texas... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Karp

Rebecca Karp

Managing Principal and CEO, Karp Strategies
Rebecca Karp is managing principal and CEO of Karp Strategies. Utilizing a data-informed, human-centered, and place-based approach, Rebecca has grown her WBE-, SBE- and DBE- certified company of 35+ into one of the leading women-owned urban planning, economic development, and real... Read More →
avatar for Maki Onodera

Maki Onodera

Ports & Maritime Lead for US North, Jacobs
Maki Onodera is a maritime project manager with over 20 years of experience in the planning, design, inspection, maintenance, and rehabilitation of waterfront structures, both locally and internationally. His experience also includes coastal resiliency and the incorporation of resiliency... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Room 118 (1st Floor)

2:00pm EDT

The Imperative to Go Beyond Public Meetings
The full menu of methods for informing communities and obtaining public input is vast, yet many continue to rely on the use of public meetings or open houses as the primary tool for public participation. What is the full menu of tools for involving communities, soliciting information, gathering input, and building trust?  What else is needed to make sure methods go beyond the public meeting model? What methods are most equitable and what are the costs and implications of a wider range of commitments to other methods by project sponsors?

Panel sponsored by:

avatar for Robert Atterbury

Robert Atterbury

EVP Relationships & Programs, Hudson River Park Trust
Robert Atterbury joined the Hudson River Park Trust in January 2022 as the executive vice president of park relationships and programs. He has responsibility over programs, initiatives and external relationships that support the park’s engagement with patrons and communities. Prior... Read More →
avatar for Frank Avila-Goldman

Frank Avila-Goldman

Chair, LES East River Residents Committee
Frank Avila-Goldman proudly joins a long list of local advocates fighting to protect the future for subsidized housing developments along the Lower East Side. In 2019, after months of local organizing, Frank helped form the Lower East Side East River Residents Committee, a group of... Read More →
avatar for Marisa Denker

Marisa Denker

CEO, Connect the Dots
Marisa Denker is the founder and CEO of Connect the Dots (CTD), an impact-driven, fully women-owned firm that specializes in outreach and community engagement. CTD is focused on connecting diverse voices to decision-making by building innovative, meaningful engagement and outreach... Read More →
avatar for Arif Ullah, WEDG

Arif Ullah, WEDG

Executive Director, South Bronx Unite
Arif Ullah is executive director of South Bronx Unite. He is a social and environmental justice advocate, grassroots urban planner, and community activist. He has experience in designing and managing community development programs, establishing alliances, and co-creating campaign... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)

2:50pm EDT

Monday May 8, 2023 2:50pm - 3:05pm EDT

3:05pm EDT

Waterfront Permitting in the Age of Climate Change
Community groups and design professionals are sounding the alarm about roadblocks within the waterfront permitting process of New York City and other jurisdictions. The importance of directly confronting the regulatory environment’s effects on waterfront and coastal permitting is greater now than ever. Given the scale and dimensions of the green, climate-resilient infrastructure needed in frontline and waterfront communities this is a timely discussion. Stakeholders point to the lack of flexibility for innovative design, permit review times, disincentives for innovation, and the complexity of permitting public access projects. This panel takes a hard look at the current system and opens a strong discussion on options for reform that prevent backsliding.

avatar for Pippa Brashear

Pippa Brashear

Principal, SCAPE Landscape Architecture
Pippa Brashear, RLA, is Resilience Principal and Partner at SCAPE. A leading national expert on resilience planning and design for climate adaptation, Pippa works with multi-disciplinary teams to develop landscape strategies and next-century infrastructure that integrate environmental... Read More →
avatar for Sandy Collins

Sandy Collins

Senior Vice President, AKRF, Inc.
Sandy Collins has worked on and managed multidisciplinary projects for more than 36 years. She specializes in natural resource assessments and permit compliance for projects in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, specializing in waterfront projects. She has... Read More →
avatar for Jon Miller, WEDG

Jon Miller, WEDG

Research Associate Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology
Dr. Jon Miller is a research associate professor of coastal and ocean engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. Dr. Miller currently serves as the director of the New Jersey Coastal Protection... Read More →
avatar for Dena Prastos

Dena Prastos

Founder & CEO, Indigo River
As founder and CEO of Indigo River, Dena Prastos, AIA, is the first "waterfront architect," trailblazing a new category in the industry. Indigo River is a women-owned (WBE) transdisciplinary design firm focused on progressive waterfront architecture, resiliency, and climate adaptation... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 3:05pm - 3:55pm EDT
Safra Hall (1st Floor)

3:05pm EDT

Offshore Wind’s Other Workforce Gap: Filling Roles in Today’s Planning and Development Phases
Much of the offshore wind workforce development effort has been focused on high-volume roles in construction and technicians. Yet it is clear gaps have emerged in permitting, planning, and engineering. This session considers questions such as: What are the pre-construction gaps in employment affecting both government and industry? What is the role of colleges and how can college programs better prepare white collar graduates for the offshore wind industry? How do you create a bridge between training programs and hiring?

Panel sponsored by:

avatar for Angele Doyne

Angele Doyne

Managing Partner, The Ampersand Group
Angelé Doyne is a strategist, innovator, and cultivator of multi-stakeholder ecosystems that intersect business, education, social equity, and public service to advance positive outcomes for diverse communities.  As managing partner of the Ampersand Group, she leads initiatives... Read More →
avatar for Terence Kelly

Terence Kelly

Head of External Affairs, Atlantic Shores Wind
Terence Kelly is head of external affairs at Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC, a 50:50 joint venture partnership between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF-RE Offshore Development, LLC (a subsidiary of EDF Renewables North America). Terence joined Atlantic Shores in 2022 after serving... Read More →
avatar for Ian Straughter

Ian Straughter

Principal, Karp Strategies
Ian brings over a decade of experience in workforce and community development, project management, stakeholder engagement, and partnership creation to his role as principal at Karp Strategies. During his time at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Ian cultivated... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 3:05pm - 3:55pm EDT
Room 115 (1st Floor)

3:05pm EDT

Mussels as the Great Harbor Cleaner
The bivalve we hear the least about is the mighty mussel, a filter feeder competing with the oyster for the charismatic spotlight in the quest to restore the New York–New Jersey harbor. While the oyster is a major and important player, mussels also provide great ecological benefits and could be put to the great harbor restoration task. This panel looks at the opportunity for mussels as a major part of restoration initiatives and the research currently underway.

avatar for Don Riepe

Don Riepe

Jamaica Bay Guardian, American Littoral Society
Don Riepe retired in 2003 from the National Park Service where he worked as a naturalist ranger and manager of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in NYC. Currently, he is employed as Jamaica Bay Guardian for the American Littoral Society. Don has written many articles on natural history... Read More →
avatar for Matthew W. Gray

Matthew W. Gray

Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Dr. Matthew W. Gray is an ecophysiologist whose research focuses on understanding the physiological response of marine invertebrates to current and future environmental conditions. His work seeks to clarify the ecosystem services (i.e. biofiltration, habitat creation, etc.) provided... Read More →
avatar for John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin

Managing Director, Office of Ecosystem Services, NYC Department of Environmental Protection
John McLaughlin is the managing director of the Office of Ecosystem Services, Green Infrastructure and Research with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The managing director is the bureau director’s senior advisor on the design and implementation of... Read More →
avatar for Chris Pickerell

Chris Pickerell

Marine Program Director, Cornell University Cooperative Extension
Chris Pickerell has been working for Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County for 30 years and has been the director of the marine program for the last ten years. In this role, Chris oversees the work of more than 70 scientists and educators working throughout Long... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 3:05pm - 3:55pm EDT
Keeping History Room (3rd Floor)

3:05pm EDT

Rebuild By Design: Learning from New Jersey's Solutions
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is invested in long-term mitigation, adaptation, and resilience of New Jersey’s economy, communities, infrastructure, and natural resources throughout the State. One the resiliency projects currently being implemented by NJDEP, in partnership with the City of Hoboken, New Jersey, is the Rebuild By Design – Hudson River (RBDH) Project, which takes a multi-faceted approach to improve physical, ecological, economic, and social resiliency. Initiated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2013 in response to Hurricane Sandy through the unique Rebuild By Design competition, RBDH will be built throughout the City of Hoboken, and will extend into Weehawken and Jersey City, with the goal of addressing coastal flooding from major storm surges and high tides. This panel will give a history of the project from the start of the Rebuild By Design competition to its upcoming construction phase, detail its award-winning community engagement and outreach program, and present lessons learned in implementing an almost two-mile long, multipurpose flood risk reduction structure in a dense, urban environment.

avatar for Karen Appell

Karen Appell

Vice President, Climate Adaptation Lead, AECOM
Karen is a vice president and the climate adaptation lead for the Water group at AECOM Metro New York, where she oversees the Extreme Weather Initiative for the region. With 25 years of experience, Karen manages multidisciplinary teams that develop strategic solutions for the planning... Read More →
avatar for Kim McEvoy

Kim McEvoy

Environmental Team Lead, NJDEP
Kim McEvoy has 20 years of professional experience with the NJDEP focused on project management, environmental remediation, and federal and state compliance. She has a bachelor of science in geoscience with a hydrology minor from Penn State University. Kim works with the project teams... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller

Asst. Project Manager, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Jonathan Miller has been with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) for over three years serving as an assistant project manager for the Rebuild by Design Hudson River (RBDH) Project located primarily in Hoboken, NJ. Jonathan is involved in the administration... Read More →
avatar for Caleb Stratton

Caleb Stratton

Chief Resilience Officer/Assistant Business Admin, City of Hoboken
Caleb Stratton is the chief resilience officer and assistant business administrator of Hoboken, New Jersey. He is responsible for orchestrating and executing municipal operations across seven departments and with a staff of over six hundred. He manages delivery of the city’s capital... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 3:05pm - 3:55pm EDT
Room 118 (1st Floor)

3:05pm EDT

Lowering the Tension: Resilience, Development, and the New Wave of Environmentalism
A wave of energetic resistance has been rising against key resilience projects and infrastructure development. Some projects have become mired in public controversy, with epithets such as NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) and BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone) thrown back and forth. These dynamics of community opposition present challenges for the future of climate-resilient infrastructure projects. As neighborhoods and communities face change, how can we steer the environmental movement to think creatively and innovatively about what our future communities need to look like? What are strategies that work for engagement processes experiencing resistance and hardship? How can projects that expect resistance prepare for it? How do design teams balance incorporating legitimate community concerns with misinformation? What has worked well and why?

avatar for Gwen Dawson

Gwen Dawson

Senior Vice President of Real Property, Battery Park City Authority
Gwen Dawson is the Battery Park City Authority’s senior vice president of real property, responsible for the Authority’s planning, design, construction, and facilities management activities. During her tenure, the Authority has overseen the completed build-out of the Battery Park... Read More →
avatar for Ali Estefam, WEDG

Ali Estefam, WEDG

VP/Project Lead—Planning & Design, Melissa Johnson Associates
Ali Estefam is an award-winning urban planner and community consultant. She uses planning tools for public participation, to leverage power imbalances, and to advocate for social justice. Ali conducts and strategizes community engagement for large-scale urban, resiliency, housing... Read More →
avatar for Andrea Parker

Andrea Parker

Executive Director, Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Andrea Parker is the executive director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, where she works to empower a community of environmental stewards and design advocates in the Gowanus Watershed. Her background as a landscape designer and gardener provides an invaluable pragmatic understanding... Read More →
avatar for Alexis Taylor

Alexis Taylor

Vice President of Climate Resilience, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Alexis Taylor is vice president of climate resilience for NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) where she is responsible for leading a portfolio of resilience and waterfront projects, which include neighborhood-scale resilience projects like the Financial-District & Seaport... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 3:05pm - 3:55pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)

4:00pm EDT

Closing Plenary: Climate Advocacy–You Can and Must Do It Too!
Speakers: N.Y. Assemblyman Robert Carroll, N.J. Senator Bob Smith
Moderated by Tyler Taba

Everybody is connected to climate resilience in some capacity, but very few work for advocacy organizations. We close the program with a focus on everything from practical tactics to technical expertise that can be put to use for climate advocacy outside of a professional role. What are basic mechanisms of advocacy that all citizens can do—even anonymously, if needed? What policies should people contact elected officials about? What volunteer opportunities exist with advocacy groups? What can agency officials, consultants, place-based NGOs, and others do to advocate for more climate resilience?
Speakers: Adem Bunkeddeko, Kristen Brengel, Andrew Engel
Moderated by Kavitha Mathew

avatar for Assemblyman Robert Carroll

Assemblyman Robert Carroll

Assemblymember, N.Y. Assembly
New York Assemblymember Robert Carroll was elected to the Assembly in 2016. He is the chair of the legislative commission on government administration and the chair of the subcommittee on museums and cultural institutions, and serves on six additional committees. Since being elected... Read More →
avatar for Sen. Bob Smith

Sen. Bob Smith

State Senator, N.J. State Senate
N.J. Senator Bob Smith was born in Scranton, Pa. He earned a degree in history from the University of Scranton in 1969, an M.S. in chemistry there in 1970, and an M.S. in environmental science from Rutgers University in 1973. He graduated from Seton Hall Law School in 1981 and was... Read More →
avatar for Tyler Taba, WEDG

Tyler Taba, WEDG

Senior Manager for Climate Policy, Waterfront Alliance
Tyler Taba joined Waterfront Alliance in January 2022 as the senior manager for climate policy. He is charged with developing climate change policy and strategy, leading the coordination and convening of the Rise to Resilience coalition, and identifying changes and trends in climate... Read More →
avatar for Adem Bunkeddeko

Adem Bunkeddeko

Executive Director, Coro New York Leadership Center
Adem is the executive director of Coro New York. He is tasked with leading a civic leadership organization that believes meaningful change comes from collaboration: people in business and communities, schools and unions, government and nonprofits, working together to find creative... Read More →
avatar for Kristen Brengel

Kristen Brengel

Sr. VP, Government Affairs, National Parks Conservation Association
Kristen Brengel is the senior vice president for government affairs with the National Parks Conservation Association. She has 20 years of experience working to ensure National Park Service laws and policies are upheld and implemented to best protect all national park units. Kristen... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Engel

Andrew Engel

Attorney, New York City Dept. of Buildings
Andrew began organizing with the New York City chapter of Sunrise Movement after he graduated from law school in January 2022. While he participates in most of the many teams within the chapter, his main focus is on organizing around city and state legislation. Andrew has contributed... Read More →
avatar for Kavitha Mathew

Kavitha Mathew

Global Diversity Officer, KPF
With a two-decade career in architecture and advocacy, Kavitha Mathew, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP leads KPF’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, as well as the development and implementation of the firm’s global Corporate Social Responsibility commitment. Kavitha oversees KPF’s... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 4:00pm - 5:10pm EDT
Safra Hall (1st Floor)

5:10pm EDT

Reception, Hosted by Equinor
Reception hosted by:

Monday May 8, 2023 5:10pm - 6:00pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)
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