Parts of New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area are still recovering from the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy in late 2012, which cost an estimated $19 billion economic loss. In order to make sure the city is better prepared for such extreme weather events in the future, which are only anticipated to increase in frequency and intensity as earth's temperature warms, New York City Mayor Bloomberg today announced a new $20 billion climate change protection plan. "Hurricane Sandy made it all too clear that, no matter how far we’ve come, we still face real, immediate threats," Bloomberg said in a prepared statement.

"we still face real, immediate threats."

The plan, described in a report released today titled "A Stronger, More Resilient New York," includes 250 separate recommendations for further bolstering the city's resistance to hurricanes, gradually rising sea levels, heavy rains, droughts and extreme heat waves. The various approaches, highlighted in a new presentation, include lots of new infrastructure projects, such as adaptable flood walls set to be installed in the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, Brooklyn's Red Hook community, East Harlem and Hunts Point in the Bronx, among other areas. Staten Island is set to get new permanent flood walls and dunes, and New York's government is supposed to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to build sand dunes for the Rockaways and Coney Island, both of which were damaged during Sandy.

Other proposed projects include raising the height of bulkheads and building new levees, even installing one to create a whole new neighborhood, "Seaport City," which would be located in the South Street Seaport area on Manhattan's southeastern area, but which would be modeled after Battery Park City on the West Side. Another part of the plan calls for building a new tidal barrier and wetland around Coney Island Creek to prevent flooding during smaller storms.

And although Bloomberg himself is retiring as NYC mayor at the end of this year, he said that he wouldn't pass the buck off entirely to his predecessor. Construction is beginning now on some flood walls, and a total $15.5 billion in funding for the $20 billion plan has been identified now through a mixture of city and federal funding, leaving $4.5 billion in costs to be covered down the road. "This is urgent work, and it must begin now," Bloomberg said.