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Ecowatcher's State of the bay -fall 2015

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overview of the history of areas of concern in Jamaica Bay highlighting the very critical role of local stakeholder input and knowledge

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Ecowatcher's State of the bay -fall 2015

  1. 1. STATE OF THE BAY 2015
  2. 2. Tonight 3 year anniversary Hurricane sandy
  3. 3. The Clean Up
  4. 4. Hurricane Sandy  Deaths: Sandy, the largest Atlantic system on record, killed 159 people, according to NOAA. Including 43 people in NYC  Homes destroyed: Sandy damaged or destroyed at least 650,000 homes and 250,500 insured vehicles. More than 300,000 business properties were also affected, .  Power: During Sandy's immediate aftermath, more than 8.5 million customers lost power, .  Surge: Sandy set historical maximum recorded water levels at the Battery in New York, Kings Point, N.Y.; Bergen Point, N.Y., Sandy Hook, N.J., Bridgeport, Conn., and New Haven Conn., according to NOAA.  Cost: Superstorm Sandy caused $65 billion in damage in the U.S., making it the second-costliest weather disaster in American history behind only Hurricane Katrina, -- (NOAA).  Turn West: It was the first time in modern recorded history that a storm took a sharp turn to the west and hit New Jersey. A scientific study said it was a once-in-700-years track.
  5. 5. Tonight’s Goal Over view of what is going on in Jamaica Bay Three main topics— Habitat/Wetlands Water quality Fish and Wildlife *-12- Short presentations-
  6. 6. Local Input JBEW and ALS and their members out on the bay every day of the year Collectively thousands of hours of observation time on bay each year Observations often pick up on new trends or developments ie Wetland loss ,water quality changes, Grassioli , Ulva , Algae blooms ,Cow nosed rays, …
  7. 7. Ecowatchers retrieving oyster cages
  8. 8. Collaborative Effort ACOE NPS NYS DEC NYC DEP NYC Parks NGO’s-JBEW and ALS and Enviro Groups Unprecedented Cooperation
  9. 9. Aerial View-Wetland projects to date
  10. 10. Habitat/Wetlands • Wetlands Loss first discovered by JBEW in 1995 • Loss rate put at 40 acres per year • Advocacy led to restoration efforts – Big Egg— year 2002--- 2 Acres – Elders East--Year 2006--- 40 Acres – Elders West-Year 2010----40 Acres – Yellow Bar---Year 2012----44 Acres – Rulers Bar---2012 Year--------- 12 Acres – Blackwall----2012/15 Year-------- 20 Acres
  11. 11. Presentation –Group-1-Projects underway Rulers / Blackwall---Elizabeth Manclarke-ALS Sunset Cove--------- Elizabeth Jordan----NYC DPR Spring Creek--------Venettial Lannon----NYS DEC
  12. 12. Additional Areas of Concern
  13. 13. Little Egg Marsh
  14. 14. SUBSIDENCE
  15. 15. Big Egg 2006
  16. 16. Big Egg 2012
  17. 17. Large Interior Pooling
  18. 18. Future Potential Projects
  19. 19. Army Corps of Engineers Presentation
  20. 20. Alternative Concepts Adjacent Slurry Sediment Enrichment Smaller projects Worked at Big Egg Restoration-and in Louisiana Sand source is at times limited Save the area before full fragmentation occurs Greatly Reduced price Natural process for grading Less invasive and impacting ---no pipes, ships , heavy machinery Can be conducted as a maintenance projects
  21. 21. Alternative Concepts
  22. 22. Interior subsidence and pooling
  23. 23. Water Quality 2010 Nitrogen Agreement Negotiated agreement between JBEW,ALS,NY/NJ Baykeeper, NRDC and City of New York Most significant impact to water quality in the bay since inception of Dewatering operations began From high of over 50,000 LBS of Nitrogen per day to Less than 30,000 LBS per day and will continue to drop with additional upgrades that are coming on line
  24. 24. Nitrogen Agreement Back story 1995-1999 JBEW documented increase in Algae Blooms and noted changes in Secchi Readings 2004-2009 discussions with DEC and DEP over concerns on Nitrogen Loading 2009-Clean water lawsuit brought forth by NRDC representing JBEW ,ALS, NY/NJ Baykeeper Lawsuit on hold-December 2009 negotiations February 2010 –Press conference announcing Agreement---$100,000,000 plant upgrades and $15,000,000-in Wetland restoration funds
  25. 25. Dropping Nitrogen Loading
  26. 26. Reduced Nitrogen Effects “cleaner water”- visibility- most notable during height of summer Decrease in Algae Blooms No incidence of Fish die offs Wetlands effect ?—Tipping Point?
  27. 27. Water Quality Other Water Quality Projects Oyster projects--NYC DEP –presentation cleaning the water Naturally ?—John McLaughlin DEP Marine Debris Removal—Lisa ALS
  28. 28. Areas of concern during sustained high heat/no rain
  29. 29. Conditions Present Hydrogen sulfide smell High heat/ direct sun/Midday full moon low Low oxygen levels Low water depths Very high water temps over 80 degrees F
  30. 30. Discolored—green water
  31. 31. Post Construction Monitoring Part of Nitrogen agreement Will measure the impact of upgrades Will seek to collect additional Data ie: Ulva studies
  32. 32. Presentation Post Construction Monitoring Program—John McLaughlin
  33. 33. Fish Populations
  34. 34. Fluke
  35. 35. Blue Claw Crab
  36. 36. Fish Survey Results Water Temperatures and Bait have huge impact as larger fish move in and out of bay Very cold winter. Water temps in bay remained cold late into spring affected the bait and also the predators Fall saw very warm temperatures late into the season and also affected the populations present
  37. 37. Survey Striped bass— below average in spring Below average during summer Fall run is late and starting to show large increases in bay Blue Fish – • Similar but had picked up in August within the bay Menhadden— * Late start due to water temperatures. Large schools in August with the smaller Peanut Bunker present as well
  38. 38. Survey Fluke (summer Flounder) Reports of large numbers early and good size catches dropped off going into middle of summer and catch sizes also reduced Off shore Populations seemed to stay stable Blue Claw Crab Non Existent? Very low populations for last three years. Including night time surveys on mud Flats— Hurricane Related ?? Cyclical ??
  39. 39. Future Trawl Survey ? Presentation –Venettia Lannon DEC

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