April 30, 2015

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Geosyntec Consultants and Opti to Help New York City Businesses Resist Floods

Hurricane Sandy caused an estimated $19 billion in damages in New York City alone.  Power outages, downed telecommunications, liquid fuel cutoffs, and flooding affected tens of thousands of businesses and drained much of their available resources into recovery efforts. Many of these businesses are either unable to sufficiently invest in resiliency measures or require technical assistance and still remain vulnerable to future storms.

Geosyntec Consultants and OptiRTC Inc. (Opti) have been awarded a competitive grant to bring innovative flood proofing technologies to small businesses in New York City.  The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is administering the $30 million grant program known as Resiliency Innovations for a Stronger Economy, or RISE : NYC.  Through the 11 projects funded under this program, RISE : NYC will help New York City businesses deploy "new, innovative, and cost-effective" solutions to "enable buildings and infrastructure networks to better resist, adapt to, and/or bounce back from future storms."  Small businesses participating in RISE : NYC will receive the technologies at no cost.

Geosyntec and its project partners will conduct site audits to collect site specific information and evaluate flood risk at 30 small businesses throughout the city and identify potential flood monitoring and proofing strategies.  A network of sensors and active and passively controlled floodproofing measures will be installed to help protect against localized flooding at 3-5 small business pilot sites.  Opti will provide the Active Floodproofing technology - a flexible and adaptive system capable of autonomously monitoring current and predicted conditions and initiating actions.  Business owners will receive alerts, automated flood control, and greater resiliency through Opti&#s integration of internet-based sensor data, NOAA forecasts, and other site-specific information and control logic for valves and other floodproofing mechanisms, including actions that businesses can take themselves.  Results of regional flood modeling will also provide site specific information that will be integrated into Opti's platform to produce tailored problem identification and solutions for each site.

"RISE : NYC is part of the City's comprehensive suite of initiatives to mitigate the effects of severe weather and climate change on New Yorkers, and all of the winning technologies will help support and strengthen small businesses across the City," said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball.  "Each of the 11 innovative winning technologies will make the City a safer, stronger and more resilient place, creating economic support and additional opportunities for New Yorkers and small businesses."

"From where we stand, we can see a world where information and infrastructure work together for a more resilient future," said Marcus Quigley, Founder and CEO of Opti. "I'm excited to empower New York businesses with access to hyperlocal flood risk information."

Geosyntec Consultants initially developed Opti in 2007 to improve the health of a salt marsh by balancing the mix of salt and freshwater in real-time.  Opti has since been in constant development and deployment for various applications in civil and environmental engineering. The "Internet-of-Things" approach has broad applications for improving the function of infrastructure, especially as it relates to flood mitigation.  In December 2014, Geosyntec helped Opti become an independent company with a mission to protect clean water and reduce flooding by actively managing stormwater infrastructure.

About Geosyntec Consultants: Geosyntec Consultants is an international consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public clients to address challenges involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure. www.geosyntec.com

About OptiRTC: OptiRTC (Opti) is a technology company that delivers Software-as-a-Service solutions to optimize the function of civil and environmental infrastructure. Opti's primary focus is the intelligent control of stormwater in urban environments. www.optirtc.com or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on RISE : NYC or innovative flood proofing technologies, please contact Andrea Braga, P.E. at (617) 922-9059 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.