2011-07-01 / Top Stories

Upgrade Jamaica Bay Water Quality

City, State Sign Agreement


This photo of Yellow Bar Hassock in Jamaica Bay shows how the marshes are eroding. The Army Corps has scheduled this marsh for restoration in 2012. This photo of Yellow Bar Hassock in Jamaica Bay shows how the marshes are eroding. The Army Corps has scheduled this marsh for restoration in 2012. After lengthy negotiations with environmental groups including the Jamaica Bay EcoWatchers, American Littoral Society, NRDC and NY/NJ Baykeeper and an even lengthier review by city and state agencies, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has signed an agreement (Consent Order) with the NYSDEC to spend $110 million over the next 10 years to upgrade all four sewage treatment plants in Jamaica Bay and also to provide an additional $15 million for marsh restoration.

Environmental officials hope that this improvement in water quality and subsequent removal of much of the excess nitrogen released into the bay by the treatment plants will stop the current trend of marsh die-back and allow them to flourish once more. The $15 million will be given to the Army Corps of Engineers, which will providea2to1matchinfundingforrestorationprojects.“Thelawyersfor NRDC were really great in their dedication to this issue and the EcoWatchers Dan Mundy Sr. and Dan Mundy, Jr. provided the lead for the environmental side,“ said Jamaica Bay Guardian Don Riepe, a participant in the process.

“They really did their homework and were exceptional at arguing the case.“ There is still much work to be done to preserve this great urban estuary and the public is invited to attend meetings of the Jamaica Bay Task Force to find out what’s going on in the bay. For information about these meetings and events in Jamaica Bay, contact the Littoral Society at 718-318-9344; E-mail: donriepe@gmail.com to be put on a mailing list.

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