Former Councilman Gennaro Joins The State DEC

Staff Writer

Just like he hinted at in November, former councilman James Gennaro has gotten a new job dedicated to improving the City’s resilience and environment.

On Jan. 10, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Gennaro had been appointed as the deputy commissioner for New York City Sustainability and Resiliency at the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

The former elected official’s new job will center on making New York City more resilient and able to meet challenges associated with climate change, including stronger weather patterns like Superstorm Sandy. Gennaro will also work to help the five boroughs continue to rebuild and recover after the 2012 storm.

He was the chairman of the Environmental Committee during his time in the Council and a good portion of his legislation had to do with improving the health of the City’s air and water.

“In a post-Sandy age, everyone’s looking at wetlands now as something we need to protect the main land,” he said. “They play a role in our City’s ecology with regard to fish and shellfish and the overall health of the water. They’re also critical defense mechanisms for the main land. They absorb a lot of energy from coastal waters.”

As part of this job, Gennaro will also serve as the DEC’s liaison to the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms & Emergencies, also known as NYS RISE. Cuomo erected the program in November to provide scientific information to legislators and stakeholders on how to create detailed plans on protecting communities from extreme weather.

“This year, the State is reimagining New York for a new climate reality, building back better and more resilient after the major storms from the last few years,” Cuomo said. “I am pleased to have Mr. Gennaro join our team at DEC where he will bring his many years of environmental experience to help protect and prepare New York City for extreme weather.”

The DEC commissioner, Joe Martens, was also pleased to have Gennaro on board.

“Jim’s demonstrated passion for improving the environment and his leading role in shaping environmental policies to protect New Yorkers make him a natural fit for DEC,” he said.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125,, or @Joey788.