I am a senior in the Structures track of the Architecture and Engineering program at Princeton with a strong focus in the environmental side of things to boot. My thesis will deal with the effects that building artificial barrier islands of the coasts of America’s cities will have on reducing storm surge that occurs during large storms. While many of the largest cities in America are built on the coast (New York, Boston and Miami just to name a few) very few are equipped to deal with large flooding events caused by large storms and hurricanes. Just this past summer, as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the tri-state area, New York was caught completely unprepared for what could have been a major disaster. This thesis will analyze different patterns of barrier island placement to seek solutions to this problem. In particular, this thesis will target a barrier island system in New York Harbor to protect the tip of Lower Manhattan from the effects of storm surge in the event of a hurricane. Relying on what I have learned in the course of my thesis research, and my own contribution, I intend to find a solution that best reduces storm surge in Lower Manhattan.