A Great Sign of Progress – The Wave – The Wave, Rockaway’s Newspaper Since 1893

Posted: May 13, 2022 at 3:01 pm

Don Riepe, Jamaica Bay Guardian, American Littoral Society, leading last years Shorebird Festival.

This is the best water clarity and quality weve seen in over 100 years in Jamaica Bay, Jamaica Bay Task Force co-chairman Dan Mundy Sr. said at the groups spring meeting this past Tuesday.

Mundy Sr. says that the seal population has increased, and bird species like ospreys, hawks, and bald eagles have all returned a great sign of progress, he said.

Don Riepe, Jamaica Bay Guardian, American Littoral Society, and Task Force co-chairman, discussed recommendations for the new Jamaica Bay Refuge Management Plan, which could continue to build up green infrastructure to further facilitate growth.

The last few years we dropped the ball on management. We need an action plan with a goal of maximizing wildlife habitat, Riepe said, with time frames, a transparent budget, and accountability built in.

Riepe spoke of a Refuge Manager Position to be stationed on site. Also, a mowing plan, with timeframes and goals. The West Pond view shed is quickly disappearing, he added.

Dan Mundy Jr. of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers spoke about Adjacent Sediment Slurry Enrichment Restoration Potentials for Jamaica Bay (essentially restoring marshes with slurry). He described this process as not a replacement for marsh island building, but a maintenance program to stay ahead of complete wetland island collapse.

There are a lot of opportunities in Jamaica Bay for this type of process slurry enrichment, Mundy Jr. said. And the cost is relatively low. He specifically spoke of opportunities in the interior of the bay, as well as along the shorelines.

John Mcloughlin, NYC DEP managing director, Environmental Protection Bureau of Environmental Planning (ecosystem services, green infrastructure and research) revealed his Jamaica Bay Ribbed Mussel Study.

This is basically about using ribbed mussels as a water quality improvement, Mcloughlin said using mussels in a sub-tidal setting.

He also pointed out that ribbed mussels are capable of filtering out particles as small as bacteria from water.

Ribbed mussels thrive on the restored marshes of the bay. They also help improve water quality and provide an important food resource for birds and marine life, added Don Riepe.

Alex Zablocki, executive director, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, gave an update on the West Pond Living Shoreline Project.

Here are some project facts: 2,400 linear feet of shoreline was restored, with 51,000 cubic yards of sediment, he said. In addition, more than nine acres of habitat was created, and more than 14 acres of habitat restored; 5,000 biodegradable shell-bag breakwater structures, creating a system of breakwaters to attenuate wave energy and protect the edge; 200,000 native grasses and shrubs were planted; 100 fascines (recycled trees) to stabilize the shoreline; and the historic outfall on the north end of West Pond was reconstructed and repaired.

Lisa Baron, project manager, civil works branch, programs and project management(USACE-New York District) also spoke about Jamaica Bay restoration efforts. She discussed pre-construction engineering design (PED) projects, such as the $1,200,000 included in the 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Baron also presented planned activities for Stony Creek Marsh Island, which will include executing a design agreement with the NYCDEP by July of this year; and ongoing project management plans, such as field investigations: wetland delineation, and bio-benchmarking (slated for 2023) and eventual construction in 2025.

Baron also discussed the Spring Creek North Ecosystem Restoration project which will consist of the restoration of 47 acres, including 18.3 acres of wetlands, and 29 acres of maritime uplands. Construction is planned for 2023.

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A Great Sign of Progress - The Wave - The Wave, Rockaway's Newspaper Since 1893

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