Governor Andrew Cuomo approved a plan to inject some much needed funds to restore 28 acres of salt marsh in an effort to provide stability for the natural wildlife, as well as future storm protection. According to a press release, the project will be led by the Jamaica Bay Eco-Watchers and the Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society.
In their effort to restore and protect the salt marsh grasses, the state has approved $645,000 for the project. The state press release broke down the source of and dispersal of the funds raised:
“DEC [Department of Environmental Conservation] funds provided for this planting include $500,000 in compensatory mitigation associated with improvements to the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and $145,000 from a settlement for illegal sewage discharges to Shellbank Creek. Planting work will begin in mid-May and is expected to be complete by the end of June.”
Restoring the salt marshes will bring stability to the local wildlife and fish populations while also providing storm protection for the Broad Channel community. During storms, the marshes reduce the force of waves and storm surges.
Dan Mundy, Jr., the president of the Jamaica Bay Eco-Watchers, thanked the state and governor and stressed the environmental importance of the project.
“These wetland islands are critical components to one of the most important estuaries on the East Coast. This project will restore two wetland islands that are nurseries to the tremendous number of species of bird and marine wildlife. In addition, these islands will play a critical role in dissipating the impact of future storm events and in the process will help to protect the adjacent communities.”