NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, will join Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency Jainey Bavishi, State Senator Joe Addabbo, Community Board 14 District Manager Jon Gaska, Executive Director of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy Alex Zablocki, and President of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers Dan Mundy to cut the ribbon on a $14 million ecological restoration of Sunset Cove in Broad Channel, Queens, and officially open the new park on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. The project brings new open space to Broad Channel, on the site of the former abandoned marina, that will also help protect the community from floodwaters and improve the health of Jamaica Bay.
“We are hard at work building a more fair and resilient city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Not only will the residents of Broad Channel have better protection from storm surges, but they will also have a reinvigorated ecosystem and better access to their park. The City looks forward to working closely with our partners to get shovels in the ground.”
Work will include the restoration of five acres of salt marsh and seven acres of coastal woodland; removal of contaminated fill across the site and replacement with clean sand; and the installation of a pedestrian pathway along a perimeter berm which will provide both access and storm protection. The design for Sunset Cove was completed in May 2016. Following the design, the project received bids that were nearly double the available budget, effectively stalling progress.
As it focuses on both NYC Parks and National Park Service property, the restoration project will strengthen partnerships between City and Federal partners. In addition, the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers will contribute to marsh-planning efforts with support from the American Littoral Society.
“NYC Parks’ public waterfront is our city’s first line of defense against climate change. Thanks to the new funding, and the tireless efforts of community groups like the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers, we will strengthen this crucial piece of shoreline, and help protect Broad Channel from the effects of future floods and storm surges,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.
“In the time since Hurricane Sandy demonstrated our vulnerabilities to the growing risks of coastal storms, sea level rise, and climate change, New York City has continued to implement a comprehensive $20 billion resiliency program,” said Chief Resilience Officer Daniel Zarrilli. “Part of that program involves expansion of coastal protection and enhancements to the ecology of Jamaica Bay, one of our greatest natural resources. The announcement for Sunset Cove represents a critical step to completing both ecological restoration and coastal resiliency that the City and its partners are taking to make Broad Channel safer and more prepared for the growing risks of climate change.”
Sunset Cove Park is a 12.57-acre site located on a former abandoned and derelict marina in Broad Channel, Queens. Work to restore and remediate this side included the removal of 1,000 cubic yards of debris and nearly 30,000 cubic yards of hazardous and contaminated soil ~ the restoration of 4.5 acres of salt marsh and 7 acres of maritime upland ~ construction of a perimeter berm and walking trail ~ installation of 16,000 tons of clean sand and planting of 200,000 new plugs to reestablish the salt marsh.
The restored salt marsh will now help to improve water quality in Jamaica Bay, and reduce wave and wind impacts during storms, and provide rich wildlife habitats. The opening of the Sunset Cove Salt Marsh will take place on Tuesday, August 20th at 11amm at the sunset Cove Salt marsh, Shad Creek Road and West 22nd Road (American Ballfields Parking Lot) in Queens.
A second phase of construction for Sunset Cove will build a boardwalk to provide shoreline access over the restored salt marsh, as well as a seasonal dock and oyster garden which will serve as a venue for waterfront educational activities. Construction is planned to begin in 2021.