Major Restoration Underway At Jamaica Bay
Submitted by Dan Hendrick on Thu, 2012-04-12 14:17.
A major restoration effort underway at Jamaica Bay is working to restore imperiled wetlands -- and may also set the bar for similar restoration projects up and down the East Coast.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the effort, in which the 42-acre marsh called Yellow Bar Hassock is being entirely rebuilt.
The Corps is raising the elevation of the marsh with sand dredged from a nearby harbor deepening project. After leveling the site off, the Corps will replant the entire marsh using grasses that are native to the bay.
Lisa Baron, who is managing the project for the Corps of Engineers, said the restoration will make a dramatic difference to the health of Yellow Bar Hassock. In recent years -- and due to a variety of stresses, including nitrogen pollution, the bay's marshes have rapidly deteriorated.
Vera Chinese, writing for the Daily News, notes that this marks the third marsh restored at Jamaica Bay by the Corps. Additional projects are in the pipeline, including nearby Black Wall Marsh, which has nearly converted entirely to open water.
Baron also said that techniques being developed at Jamaica Bay could set the standard for similar marsh restoration projects across the region.
Ringed by the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, as well the town of Inwood in Nassau County, Jamaica Bay is believed to be the most nitrogen-polluted estuary in the nation, and possibly the world.
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