NEW YORK—Jamaica Bay environmental restoration work just got a boost. The state-funded Regional Economic Development Council has awarded the project $400,000 for restoration. The project will be a joint effort of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.
The award will be used to restore coastal wetlands, oyster wave breaks, tidal dune protection, and coastal forests, all of which help protect the area’s vulnerable residential neighborhoods.
Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the natural environment in Jamaica Bay, according to the New York Chapter of the Sierra Club. Some residences and other man-made structures were heavily damaged, including in the Rockaways and Broad Channel.
The Bay’s natural barriers have proven to be more effective than a man-made sea wall or levee, and will be important in protecting the city’s shoreline in future storms, say preservationists. The 18,000-acre wetland estuary is surrounded by the Rockaway Peninsula in the South, Brooklyn in the West, and Queens in the East. It is home to the only wildlife refuge in the nation accessible by subway and is often used as an urban recreation area. Nearly equal in size to Manhattan, Jamaica Bay includes a number of islands, labyrinthine waterways, meadowlands, and two freshwater ponds.