2012-01-06 / Community

New Marshland Restoration Beginning

By Nicholas Briano

A map of Jamaica Bay marshland areas. A map of Jamaica Bay marshland areas. The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers announced this week that in mid-January the next phase of Jamaica Bay marshlands restoration will begin to restore at least 40 acres of marshland by the end project.

The $19 million restoration will take place on the north side of Yellow Bar Marsh. This area is extremely degraded and it will be a big plus for the bay, the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers said in a statement. In order to complete the project, a large section of pipeline was submerged on December 29 from the northern end of Yellow Bar Marsh to a point off the tip of the Rockaway peninsula.

This restoration project and others were made possible under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Continuing Authorities Program (CAP), the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) and NYSDEC.

A feasibility report titled “Jamaica Bay Marsh Islands, Jamaica Bay, New York, Integrated Ecosystem Restoration Report, Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact” was approved in 2006 which recommended the restoration of three marsh islands, Yellow Bar, Elders Point East, and Elders Point West.

Previous restoration activities at Elders Point East Marsh Island in 2006 and 2007 involved placement of sand and planting native vegetation to restore a 48-acre marsh site. Elders Point East was constructed for mitigation purposes to offset environmental impacts of the New York and New Jersey Harbor Deepening Project.

In 2010, again with much advocacy from the Ecowatchers, an additional 34 acres of salt marsh habitat were restored at Elders Point West with more than 200,000 cubic yards of sediment.

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