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Jamaica bay resiliency

Brief Presentation on who the Ecowatchers are and our response to the SRIJB report as well as where we think this institution should focus

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Resiliency Practice in the Jamaica Bay Watershed
JAMAICA BAY ECOWATCHERS- PERSPECTIVE
Jamaica Bay Ecowatcher’s
The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers are dedicated to the
preservation, protection, enhancement and restoration
of the fragile ecosystem of Jamaica Bay. We have been
and will continue to serve as the advocacy organization
for the environmental concerns for Jamaica Bay.
We are the leading Environmental Advocacy Group
working In Jamaica Bay since 1994
Ecowatchers Formed in 1998
Advocate for Jamaica Bay
Highlight the impact of Heavy Nitrogen Loading and
the Consequent Marsh Loss
Awareness of Associated Water Quality Issues
Partner with Enviro Groups
Partner with NRDC
First to Connect high nitrogen loading to
algae blooms in bay
Wetland Island Loss
First to recognize and document the wetland loss in
Jamaica Bay
1995 thru 2001 worked to self document the loss
2001 collaborated with NYS DEC –trend analysis
report
2001 Blue ribbon panel held
Moved to obtain funding and identify projects to
restore
Clean Water Act
Fall 2009 Brought Clean Water Act Lawsuit against NYC
At city’s Request Negotiations Begin
February 2010 Nitrogen Agreement Reached
--$100 Million to upgrade Waste Treatment Plants
--$15 Million earmarked for Wetland Restoration
--Great Interest From Mayor Bloomberg in Jamaica Bay
Funding –has already greatly reduced nitrogen and
created wetland islands

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Jamaica bay resiliency

  • 1. Resiliency Practice in the Jamaica Bay Watershed JAMAICA BAY ECOWATCHERS- PERSPECTIVE
  • 2. Jamaica Bay Ecowatcher’s The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers are dedicated to the preservation, protection, enhancement and restoration of the fragile ecosystem of Jamaica Bay. We have been and will continue to serve as the advocacy organization for the environmental concerns for Jamaica Bay. We are the leading Environmental Advocacy Group working In Jamaica Bay since 1994
  • 3. Ecowatchers Formed in 1998 Advocate for Jamaica Bay Highlight the impact of Heavy Nitrogen Loading and the Consequent Marsh Loss Awareness of Associated Water Quality Issues Partner with Enviro Groups Partner with NRDC
  • 4. First to Connect high nitrogen loading to algae blooms in bay
  • 5. Wetland Island Loss First to recognize and document the wetland loss in Jamaica Bay 1995 thru 2001 worked to self document the loss 2001 collaborated with NYS DEC –trend analysis report 2001 Blue ribbon panel held Moved to obtain funding and identify projects to restore
  • 6. Clean Water Act Fall 2009 Brought Clean Water Act Lawsuit against NYC At city’s Request Negotiations Begin February 2010 Nitrogen Agreement Reached --$100 Million to upgrade Waste Treatment Plants --$15 Million earmarked for Wetland Restoration --Great Interest From Mayor Bloomberg in Jamaica Bay Funding –has already greatly reduced nitrogen and created wetland islands
  • 7. Oyster Restoration Ecowatchers secured a $100,000 grant from Florida Power and Light company . Partnered with National Parks Service and Stony Brook University Determine the possibility of restoring a self sustaining oyster population in Jamaica Bay Conducted Spat Recruitment surveys Placed and monitored Oysters in cages in numerous locations Discovered oyster reproduction in Bay
  • 8. Divers to set sub-tidal cages
  • 9. Raising Sub tidal oyster cage
  • 11. Transco Williams Pipeline Successfully negotiated with Transco Williams for off- set mitigation to be part of current pipeline Williams will fund $500,000 wetlands project at Sunset Cove Williams will fund $1,500,000 artificial reef off of the Rockaway's in designated reef zone
  • 19. Sunset Cove Led efforts to have 17 acre site moved to NYC Parks Allocated $500,000 from NY Rising to fund oyster portion of project Organized Efforts , political support, to get support for Dept of Interior Grant---$4.85 million Secured community support for site Design will see wetlands recreation/oyster revetment/dune/berm—upland forest / walking trails as well as educational boardwalk
  • 21. Oyster Cages at Sunset Cove
  • 22. JFK AirPort Extension Plan Proposed in 2010 Would fill in and pave over hundreds of acres of wetlands Ecowatchers held public meetings hundreds turned out Plan Rejected due to outcry
  • 23. Defeated Efforts to Bring Contaminated Fill into Jamaica Bay Worked with Assemblyman Goldfeder and State Senator Joseph Addabbo to create Bill to prevent Dumping of Hazardous Dredge Material into Jamaica Bay. Aug 11 2014-- Bill A.3392 signed into law by Governor Cuomo- Prevent Contaminated Dredge material from being placed into Jamaica Bay
  • 26. Queens Boro President Melinda Katz
  • 30. Most Significant Finding “. Greater integration is needed where collaboration is paramount through the whole process from setting the research agenda, to sharing data and results, to making informed decisions, and to monitoring policy and supplementing with new scientific research and new policy when appropriate. … Scientific research and management of natural resources is collaborative when both scientists and the stakeholders responsible for management are involved in the decision process. This means that dialogue is necessary at each step of the process. Scientists should seek input from stakeholders when determining what research agendas in a particular system should be. Likewise, stakeholders should provide feedback to scientists on what information and data is needed to best inform the decision-making process. Together, stakeholders and researchers can set an agenda for research that is focused on specific objectives designed to yield the most useful information for management decisions. “ ----- Chapter 3
  • 31. What do you see as the most significant opportunities for promoting Resiliency Policy and action from the Report Findings ? w "Resilience Through Restoration”-- The report discusses , chapter 3, the concept of “Restoration for Resilience” – we have been discussing the goal of Resilience through Restoration addressing the two main concerns  1) Environmental/Ecological –overall concerns for the bay –most predate Sandy:  Loss of Habitat—Wetlands--islands/Shoreline , Benthic habitat in select locations  Water Quality-Nitrogen Loading/ Dissolved Oxygen/ De-icing issues  Species loss/restoration---Oysters/Eel Grass/ Ribbed Mussels  Reaching the “Tipping Point” 2) Residential/Community concerns * Storm and Natural event concerns * Storm Tidal Surge--Flooding * Wave Energy/Damage-Homes /infrastructure destroyed *Preparedness/Response-Communication/Transportation/shelter
  • 33. Ecological /storm protection Wetland islands—well known ecological values— recent recognition of wave attenuation value Rulers and Black wall islands—large reduction seen on adjacent community shoreline Northwest Fetch Elders East and West- Well established at this point and successful in terms of growth now also recognized for protection they afford Joseph Addabbo bridge and the coastal evacuation zone Northern Portion of Yellow Bar island-recently completed by ACOE additional wave protection
  • 34. Ecological/ Storm Protection Oyster reefs Currently under design for Sunset Cove Proposed under the NY Rising project for eastern and western portions of the bay Proposed under NY Rising for next phase of Street Elevation in Broad Channel –ends of blocks Used to reduce wave height and energy
  • 35. Dunes Berms Rockaway /Breezy Spring Creek-Howard Beach Broad channel-Southern and northern sections Floyd Bennett Field
  • 36. Hard Structure—Resiliency ACOE - “Big Gate” ?---Required Offset Mitigation Smaller Gates—Shell Bank Basin Sea wall in Rockaway Street Rising in Broad Channel –Soft street ends ? Stone Revetment –incorporate oysters?
  • 38. Ny Rising Plan for Bay Chaired NY Rising for the reconstruction plan for Broad Channel and Jamaica Bay Short and long term projects including Oyster Reefs Wetland islands Dune Community Recovery Centers
  • 40. SRIJB Goals Partner with existing projects—Jamaica Bay is not a vacuum-tremendous work underway and already planed—NY Rising/DEP/ACOE study Lead on specific project –ie Adjacent Slurry Enrichment Project Seek Project Oriented studies that will bring an immediate benefit to the bay and its inhabitants Where possible conduct projects modeled after Ecowatchers/Littoral society marsh island plantings Engage youth/residents/students
  • 42. What areas of the report can be Enhanced to provide for science to policy transfer for resilience practice Better understanding of Sediment Budget in Bay –not necessarily a negative at this time Better understanding of the value of the deeper channels in the bay to marine life and bays ecology Evaluate ALL baseline information for accuracy – much is repeated over time and thus accepted when not proven