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Jamaica bay task force -Ecological Restoration around the bay


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Various Restoration Projects completed around Jamaica Bay

Published in: Environment
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Jamaica bay task force -Ecological Restoration around the bay

  1. 1. Ecological Restoration in Jamaica Bay William Young, PWS, CERP
  2. 2. Presentation Outline • AES General Company Information • Projects in Jamaica Bay • Restoration works!
  3. 3. Healy Ave. Norton Basin, Jamaica Bay Healy Ave Marsh and Dune East side Jamaica Bay 1999-2001 NYS DEC 2.25 acres $350,000
  4. 4. In 1995, with Jamaica Bay damages account, NYSDEC purchased 11 acres of maritime shrubland and grassland habitat with fringing wetlands. In 1999, the Dawson Corp was hired to remove fill off the wetlands, place clean sand and plant low and high marsh 2.25 acres. Healy Ave is rare in that there was an intact dune habitat that was bolstered by the planting of dune grass (Ammoplila breviligulata), Beach plum, Bayberry, Shadbush and Virginia rose, in addition to five native grasses.
  5. 5. Yellow rumped warbler at Healy Avenue marsh Yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coromata) at Healy Ave marsh
  6. 6. Four Sparrow Marsh Brooklyn, NY. Right off Flatbush Ave next to Belt Parkway. Restoration: 1. Get rid of all debris smothering the marsh 2. Excavate and remove fill mostly in Phragmites 3. Plant and seed to low and high marsh 4. (change order); get rid of 6,000 batteries discovered on site.
  7. 7. Four Sparrow Marsh North side Jamaica Bay 2002-2004 NYC Parks 4.5 acres $800,000 >80,000 plugs, removal of huge pile of batteries, and we removed piles of marine debris which buried the marsh.
  8. 8. Four Sparrow Marsh, acquired by NYC Parks in 1997, supports 35 acres of low marsh, high marsh and maritime shrubland. These native plant communities were degraded by invasive species, primarily Mugwort and Common reed. Four sparrows: Seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus) which nests exclusively in low marsh, Sharp-tailed sparrow (A. caudacutus), which prefers high marsh, Swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), which inhabits the wetland-shrub edge, Song sparrow (M. melodia) which is found in the upland. Even Bill knows Swamp sparrows have a rusty cap, gray breast, and white throat.
  9. 9. Mostly grassland/savanna, with species from all the coastal New York ecosystems. No less than 11 native plant communities were researched and soils and species replicated on capped landfill site. Fountain and Penn combined: 543 acres
  10. 10. Detailed study to Replicate Coastal NY Plant Communities. 11/3/2017 13
  11. 11. Modeling Coastal Ecosystems 11/3/2017 14 Heather Pine--oak thicket
  12. 12. Design with Nature: Ian McHarg Modified by Young and Shay, 200611/3/2017 15
  13. 13. Planting tree islands in Sept 2008 The entire capped landfill has 18” of topsoil, as per RCRA regulations. But 14 tree islands have three feet of topsoil. Grasslands on the 18 inch topsoil, trees and shrubs on the 36 inch topsoil islands. 11/3/2017 16 Great southern white on Sea oxeye
  14. 14. Fountain Avenue four years after construction. Is this restoration? 11/3/2017 17
  15. 15. What’s up with the Irrigation? I thought these were native plants 11/3/2017 18 Native plants are not bullet proof, especially in such an artificial environmentas a former landfill. However, after establishment they are quite self- sustaining.
  16. 16. In all, 19,000 trees and shrubs. Restoration? Significant replacement of invasive species with natives.
  17. 17. Native Woody Plants Common Name Plant Genus Butterfly/moth species supported Oak Quercus 534 Black cherry Prunus 456 Willow Salix 455 Birch Betula 413 Poplar Populus 368 Crabapple Malus 311 Blueberry Vaccinium 288 Maple Acer 285 Elm Ulmus 213 Pine Pinus 203 Hickory Carya 200 Hawthorn Crataegus 159 Spruce Picea 156 Alder Alnus 156 Basswood Tilia 150 Ash Fraxinus 150 Rose Rosa 139 Filbert Corylus 131 Walnut Juglans 130 Beech Fagus 126 Chestnut Castanea 125
  18. 18. N.Y. / Region New York Today: A ‘Maritime Forest’ Where Sandy’s Waters Rose New York Today By ALEXANDRA S. LEVINE OCT. 27, 2017
  19. 19. Paerdergat- rare grassland habitat
  20. 20. Notfor nothin,but thepeonydon’thelp me none. Norme!
  21. 21. Paerdegat- 23 acres grassland/scrub shrub habitat
  22. 22. Species NY Natural Heritage Rank1 NYS Status Breeding Wintering Northern Harrier S3 Threatened X X Upland Sandpiper S3 Threatened X Short-eared Owl S2 Endangered X X Horned Lark Special Concern X X Sedge Wren S3 Threatened X Vesper Sparrow Special Concern X Grasshopper Sparrow S4 Special Concern X Henslow's Sparrow S4 Threatened X Bobolink S5 not listed* X Eastern Meadowlark S5 not listed* X Savannah Sparrow S5 not listed* X Footnote 1: Natural Heritage Program Status: Early successional habitats—rare in NY.
  23. 23. Food Approximately 74% of the annual diet consists of animal matter and includes mainly beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and occasionally flies, wasps, and spiders (Beal 1926, cited by Gross 1958). Crickets and grasshoppers comprise 26% of the annual diet, and beetles make up 25% of the annual diet. The remainder of the diet consists of vegetable matter, mainly grain and weed seeds. Seeds of smartweed (Polygonum spp.), ragweed (Ambrosia spp.), corn, wheat, rye, and oats are eaten in the winter months when insects are scarce (Gross 1958). Fruits, such as wild cherries (Prunus spp.), strawberries (Fragaria spp.), and blackberries (Rubus spp.), may also constitute a small percentage of the diet. During adverse winter weather, eastern meadow- larks have been observed to feed on road kills (Hubbard and Hubbard 1969). Eastern meadowlark
  24. 24. FOOD WEBS FAT PROTEIN ? No doubt plants are the king. Only they can convert sunlight to biomass, Creating food out of abiotic resources. But insects are the next level, transferring that energy to higher levels.
  25. 25. In terms of both number of species and number of individuals, insects are a dominant form of life on Earth. There are somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000 insect species known–that’s more than all other animals combined! What’s more, scientists estimate that with those insect species yet to be discovered, there are between 80 and 100 million species of insects sharing the planet with us.
  26. 26. Pollination by a bumblebee Considered an Ecosystem service
  27. 27. Common Name Plant Genus Butterfly/moth species supported Goldenrod Solidago 115 Asters Aster 112 Sunflower Helianthus 73 Joe pye, Boneset Eupatorium 42 Morning glory Ipomoea 39 Sedges Carex 36 Honeysuckle Lonicera 36 Lupine Lupinus 33 Violets Viola 29 Geraniums Geranium 23 Black-eyed susan Rudbeckia 17 Iris Iris 17 Evening primrose Oenothera 16 Milkweed Asclepias 12 Verbena Verbena 11 Beardtongue Penstemon 8 Phlox Phlox 8 Bee balm Monarda 7 Veronica Veronica 6 Little bluestem Schizachyrium 6 Cardinal flower Lobelia 4
  28. 28. Asters & Fleabanes . Asters are clump forming perennial, bloom late August – October . Fleabanes are annual and biennial, bloom in early June – September . Fleabanes with small white flowers, Aster flowers range white to purple; both with central yellow disks . Both plants tolerate wide range of soil, moisture, and sunlight conditions . High value to pollinators, improve insect diversity and diversify grassland habitat . Benefit ruffed grouse, wild turkey, songbirds, small mammals, eastern cottontail and white-tailed deer
  29. 29. Data in the literature • indicate that the best habitats are in grasslands with few forbs and that meadowlarks avoid areas where forbs are predominant. It is assumed that optimal conditions will exist when greater than 80% of the herbaceous cover is grass, that suitability will decrease as the relative percent of grass decreases. and that the habitat will not be suitable when less than 20% of the herbaceous cover is grass. Meadowlark territories in Wisconsin varied in size from 1.2 to 6.1 ha (3 to 15 acres) and were commonly 2.8 to 3.2 ha (7 to 8 acres) (Lanyon 1956). The average size of 15 territories in New York was 2.8 ha (7 acres) (Gross 1958) ..
  30. 30. Pollination Long horned bee pollinating New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) Photo by Naturalist Blaine Rothauser on August 2, 2016
  31. 31. BUILDING STRONG® Rulers Bar: 92,000 CY, 10 acres (3 Oct 12) Jamaica Bay-NY/NJ Harbor Multi-Project Initiative Ambrose Channel Deepening: Total 3.6 M CY Capping NBCDF: 230,000 CY (June 12) Black Wall: 150,000 CY, 20 acres (21 Sept 12) Yellow Bar: 375,000 CY, 44 acres (Aug 12) Plumb Beach: 129,188 CY (9 Nov 12) Marsh Island Restoration in Jamaica Bay
  32. 32. Crisis: Jamaica Bay, largest Watershed in NYC: Islands are sinking/degrading 1924 1999
  33. 33. BUILDING STRONG® Yellow Bar Hassock ► Beneficial Use of dredged material (CAP 204) ► Approximately 40 acres at cost of $19,643,547 ► Sand placement, grading and planting (Similar to Elders) ► Sand Contract Awarded to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock ► Marsh Builder Contract Awarded to Village Dock, Inc. • Planting Sub-Contractor was Burke Environmental Marsh Island Restoration in Jamaica Bay
  34. 34. BUILDING STRONG® Skid-steer moving 3’ x 3’ x 2’ hummocks with a mini- excavator digging holes, and planting the hummocks. Marsh Island Restoration in Jamaica Bay Burke changed up equipment to get more production out of hummock planting. The operators got REALLY GOOD at this. Mini excavator superior to skid steer.
  35. 35. BUILDING STRONG® Marsh Island Restoration in Jamaica Bay
  36. 36. Evidence that the Lordship Living Shoreline expansion is working Dec 2016 Sept 2017 Living Shoreline (Reef Balls) at Stratford Point, Fairfield, CT
  37. 37. Using Hybrid Attenuation Approach, Living Shorelines can be placed along almost any coastline. This is protect the shoreline from erosion and loss. With permission from Living Shoreline Solutions, Inc. Dade City, FL
  38. 38. Whooo has questions? A system driven by science!!!
  39. 39. Estuarine Wetlands -Coastal NY/NJ Salt Marshes Young Environmental, LLC IF YOU BUILD IT….
  40. 40. February 2009 All you have to do is ASC Usually size of animal correlates to home range and area needed.
  41. 41. Which animal is the most adaptable? Least?
  42. 42. Rulers Bar: 92,000 CY, 10 acres (3 Oct 12) Jamaica Bay-NY/NJ Harbor Multi-Project Initiative Ambrose Channel Deepening: Total 3.6 M CY Dredged material finds beneficial use restoring islands. Capping NBCDF: 230,000 CY (June 12) Black Wall: 150,000 CY, 20 acres (21 Sept 12) Yellow Bar: 375,000 CY, 44 acres (Aug 12) Plumb Beach: 129,188 CY (9 Nov 12) Marsh Island Restoration in Jamaica Bay
  43. 43. SWS 2017 60 Bill Young, with volunteers at supplemental planting at Stratford Point Living Shoreline, May 2015. Data is being collected showing significant accretion of sand and sediment on the beach side of the reef.
  44. 44. Jamaica Bay has Pilot Projects 50,000 OYSTERS BEING INSTALLED IN JAMAICA BAY TO HELP IMPROVE WATER QUALITY AND PROTECT WETLANDS Significant marine engineering goes into Reef Ball design.
  45. 45. Urban Wild Space Wildlife Land Management Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Albany, NY • surrounded by industrial and high-density residential development • Globally rare ecosystem (inland pine barrens) • Federally-Endangered Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) • Multiple other rare species
  46. 46. Savanna Wetlands & Streams Results Dunes and Dry Prairies
  47. 47. Goals Measured by Faunal Metrics
  48. 48. Oxford Wetland Mitigation Bank 74 acre former sod farm Designed and permitted: Environmental Connection/Young Environmental Construction: 2016-7 The Dawson Corporation
  49. 49. Lepidoptera tell a story
  50. 50. “Better stewardship of the land could have a bigger role in fighting climate change than previously thought,” the international team of scientists said of findings published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The estimates for nature’s potential, led by planting forests, were up to 30% higher than those envisaged by a UN panel of climate scientists in a 2014 report, it said. The Guardian Oct 17,2017
  51. 51. Page | 71
  52. 52. Hydrology and wildlife return to formerly degraded site.
  53. 53. Mitigation Expertise Seneca Meadows Wetland Preserve Video NYSDEC independent study showed AES mitigation sites have HIGHEST success rate in the state
  54. 54. Wild land and open space have great value. NYC water—best in country Resilience?
  55. 55. Physical/Hydrological Functions Groundwater Recharge/Discharge
  56. 56. Biogeochemical Functions Water Quality Wetlands trap, retain and process pollutants in flooded soil - “kidneys of the landscape” Retention of pathogens and nutrients(nitrates, phosphates) pesticides, and metals. Protect drinking water suppliesWetlands are natures’s kidneys
  57. 57. Environmental Connection, LLC Biogeochemical Functions Sediment trapping
  58. 58. Biological Functions Habitats/Biodiversity
  59. 59. Environmental Connection, LLC Biogeochemical Functions Atmospheric Equilibrium
  60. 60. If you build it they WILL come Ecology: “Oikos”
  61. 61. Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) Method Developed by Army Corps of Engineers • Uses reference wetlands (e.g., natural in region of interest) • Evaluates set of wetland functions through field assessment • Functional capacity index (FCI) – 0-1, 1 equals function at same level as reference wetland. FCI X acres of habitat assessed = FCUs
  62. 62. Evaluation of Planned Wetlands (EPW) Developed by Environmental Concern • Similar to HGM but sleeker and easier to use. Uses reference wetlands (e.g., natural in region of interest) Evaluates limited set of wetland functions through field assessment. • Functional capacity index (FCI) – 0-1, 1 equals function at same level as reference wetland. FCI X acres of habitat assessed = FCUs
  63. 63. Evaluation of Planned Wetlands (EPW) Here are the parameters for conducting the EPW: • Shoreline Bank Erosion Control: Capacity to provide erosion control and to dissipate erosive forces at the shoreline bank • Sediment Stabilization: Capacity to stabilize and retain previously deposited sediments • Water Quality: Capacity to retain and process dissolved or particulate materials to the benefit of downstream surface water quality
  64. 64. Evaluation of Planned Wetlands (EPW) Wildlife: Degree to which a wetland functions as habitat for wildlife as described by habitat complexity. Fish: The food/cover, reproductive, and water quality requirements for fish. Uniqueness/Heritage: Presence of characteristics that distinguish a wetland as unique, rare or valuable.
  65. 65. Project Status •From degraded to: •Diverse Dynamic Productive Stingy Using functional analysis
  66. 66. Insects: A foundation of the food web
  67. 67. BUILDING STRONG® Molt of HS Crab Found on Yellow Bar Hassock, July 2012. 3,905 nests. Perhaps 200 eggs per nest. Accounting for losses, say, 160,000 new crabs. Not too shabby! Marsh Island Restoration in Jamaica Bay
  68. 68. 11/3/2017 Tidal Wetland BEFORE AFTER
  69. 69. 95
  70. 70. Salt marshes are unique and highly productive ecosystems that provide a range of valuable services (MEA 2005; Barbier et al. 2011). The importance of these intertidal grasslands to fish and wildlife populations is well documented; in particular, they serve as nursery and feeding areas for many economically and ecologically important fishery species (Dionne et al. 1999; Deegan et al. 2000; Minello et al. 2003) and as critical breeding, migration, or wintering habitat for variety of bird species (Greenberg et al. 2006; Shriver and Greenberg 2012). Marsh vegetation also filters sediments, nutrients, and other pollutants from upland drainage and helps buffer shorelines from erosion by waves and currents, and marsh sediments have a high capacity for long-term carbon sequestration (Mcleod et al. 2011).
  71. 71. Samanek ( Number of herbivore species supported Non-native plant species Homeland Novel Years since introduction Phragmites austrlis 170 5 >300 Eucalptus stelloleta 48 1 100 Opuntia ficus-indica 16 0 250 Clematis vitalba 40 1 100 Melaleuca quinquenervia 406 8 120 D. Tallamy Will evolution be the solution?
  72. 72. Regal Fritillary Butterfly (Speyaria idalia) • Endemic to tallgrass and mixed grass prairies – Larvae feed on only violets in spring – Adults feed on prairie plants, preferring nectar of milkweeds (and thistles)
  73. 73. Lots of insects in the soil
  74. 74. UNDO
  75. 75. Carlina carline 0 0 Carthamus distaff thistle 0 1 Carum caroway 0 1 Catapodium 0 0 Caucalis burr parsley 0 0 Centaurium centaury 0 0 Centipeda centipeda 0 0 Ceratocephala curveseed butterwort 0 0 Chaenorhinum dwarf snapdragon 0 0 Chaiturus lion's tail 0 0 Chamaemelum dogfennel 0 0 Chelidonium celandine 0 0 Chondrilla chondrilla 0 0 Chorispora crossflower 0 1 Chrozophora chrozophora 0 0 Cicer chick pea 1 0 Cichorium endive, chickory 0 9 Citrullus watermelon 1 11 Cnicus cnicus 0 0 Coincya star-mustard 0 0 Coix Job's tears 0 0 Colchicum colchicum 0 0 Colocasia coco yam 0 2 Conium poison hemlock 0 2 Conringia hare's ear mustard 0 2 Consolida knight's spur 0 1 Convolvulus bindweed, morning glory 2 7 Corchorus jute, tridens corchorus 1 0 Coriandrum coriander 0 0 Coronopus swinecress 0 0 Corrigiola corrigiola 0 0 Cortaderia pampas grass 0 0 Corynephorus clubawn grass 0 0 Crepis hawksbeard 0 2 Genus Common alien lep native lep Dactylis orchard grass 1 20 Dactyloctenium Egyptian grass, crowfoot grass 0 1 Dahlia dahlia 2 13 Daphne daphne 0 0 Dasypyrum mosquitograss 0 0 Dianthus pinks, carnations 2 8 Dictamnus gas plant 0 2 Digera 0 0 Digitalis foxglove 0 3 Dinebra viper grass 0 0 Diplotaxis wallrocket 0 1 Dipsacus teasel 0 1 Disporum fairy bells, mandarin 1 0 Dittrichia dittrichia 0 0 Duchesnea duchesnea 0 0 Ecballium squirting cucumber 0 0 Echinops globethistle 0 0 Egeria egeria 0 0 Eichhornia water hyacinth 0 0 Eleusine indian goosegrass 0 0 Eleutherococcus ginseng 0 0 Elsholtzia elsholtzia 0 0 Emex threecornerjack 0 0 Epipactis helleborine 0 0 Eremopyrum False wheatgrass 0 0 Erica heath, heather 2 2 Erodium heron's bill, erodium, stork's bill 0 3 Eruca* arugula, saladrocket, rocketsalad 0 1 Erucastrum dogmustard 0 0 Euphrasia eyebright 0 0 Facelis trampweed 0 0 Fagopyrum buckwheat 0 8 Falcaria falcaria 0 0 Fatoua fatoua 0 0 Filago cottonrose 0 0 Foeniculum sweet fennel, fennell 0 1 Fumaria fumitory 0 0 Galanthus snowdrop 0 0 Guess what? The most “useful” exotic plants to insects are the ones closely related. The insects at least can recognize/utilize them. Asters, Willow, Solidagos, Juncus, Quercus, Fagus, Asclepias, Bidens
  76. 76. Native species: 406 species of herbivores Non-native species: 8 species of herbivores