At a Glance

Integrating ecology into all aspects of the flood protection strategies being developed provides a healthier and more resilient coastal ecosystem while also creating a public amenity in an urban setting.

Project Description

With its commercial, educational, industrial, port, and recreational facilities, the Long Wharf district of New Haven, CT is an important regional hub. Its location along New Haven Harbor and directly off of Long Island Sound, however, makes it susceptible to flood damage from extreme weather events. Most recently, the area suffered flooding and structural damage following Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

As a key member of a team led by GZA, Biohabitats worked with the City of New Haven to enhance the resiliency and safety of Long Wharf in the face of future storms and sea level rise while also potentially improving the local ecology.

Biohabitats developed design strategies for a flood protection system for the City’s vulnerable resources. The first day of field work coincided with record cold temperatures, but that didn’t hamper progress or enthusiasm for a project that combines both human and ecological protection. Biohabitats’ primary focus was on progressing concepts related to coastal resiliency, including designs for offshore oyster reef breakwaters, living shorelines, and an expanded coastal ecosystem including sandy beach, tidal wetland, and dune habitats.



Hudson River

Physiographic Province

New England


Long Island Sound

Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Coastal, Community, Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Research & Development, Urban Ecology, Water


City of New Haven


New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Project Team
  • GZA
  • Utile Architecture & Planning
  • Cambridge Systematics