The Bloomberg administration is pushing a plan to help restore the existing wetlands throughout the city, and the city has released a draft of its strategy to restore the natural environments along New York City’s waterfront.
The initiative originates from a directive signed by Bloomberg in 2009, ordering relevant city agencies to create a strategy to to conserve, protect, enhance, stabilize, restore, and expand wetlands around the city – including those in Jamaica Bay. The intention was to provide City Hall leadership in conserving area of water too small to be protected by current state laws, according to WNYC News Blog.
“In the next three years the city will work with our state and federal partners to invest over $54 million at 17 sites to restore and enhance over 58 acres of adjacent wetlands and habitat,” said Aaron Koch, the senior policy advisor for the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability.
Over the years, many important ecosystems have dissipated, but despite that, New York is still home to many critical natural areas in Jamaica Bay, Staten Island, and along Long Island Sound.With the help of the city, more than 175 wetlands have been created or restored in the last 10 years.
One of the main focuses of PlaNYC, the Mayor’s environment-friendly initiative, are waterways. During a City Council Environmental Protection Committee hearing, Koch said that the city hopes to implement several plans to improve public management of wetlands units.
These include the transfer of more city-owned units to the jurisdiction of the Parks Department for additional preservation. The department has acquired almost 300 acres of wetlands in the past decade.