U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder today announced a $7,293,547.50 grant to restore Jamaica Bay’s Yellow Bar Hassock Island. The grant, which was provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers, will fund the restoration of the approximately 50 acres of salt marsh habitat at Yellow Bar Hassock, and involve the placement of 300,000 cubic yards of dredged material there. This project is the third of three projects recommended in 2006 to be undertaken to restore the bay: the other two – Elders Point East and Elders Point West – have already been completed. Schumer and Goldfeder said that this grant is vital for the communities which abut the Bay, including Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways, and would go a long way towards preserving the threatened natural habitat and beauty of Jamaica Bay.
“From Broad Channel to Howard Beach to the Rockaways, all communities along Jamaica Bay have a stake in preserving the Bay’s at-risk marsh islands. The restoration of Yellow Bar Hassock Island is a critical phase of our battle to preserve the marshes from disappearing and forever altering the Bay for the worse. With this funding we can make sure that Jamaica Bay’s fragile marshes will survive for generations to come,” said Schumer.
“This grant will help restore the delicate ecosystem of Jamaica Bay to its former greatness,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “It’s important to not only preserve our natural surroundings, but renew them whenever possible. The completion of this project will not only benefit the bay but also the surrounding community by attracting new economic activity and growth.”
Over the past century, the Jamaica Bay’s fragile ecosystem has been degraded, and sewer discharges have also exacerbated these effects. Under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Continuing Authorities Program (CAP), the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) and NYSDEC requested assistance in implementing one or more restoration projects and a report was approved in 2006, recommending restoration of three marsh islands: Yellow Bar Hassock, Elders Point East, and Elders Point West. Construction of the Elders Point East marsh island took place in 2006-2007, and Elders Point West in 2009-2010.
Yellow Bar Hassock construction has been proposed through the beneficial use of dredged material from the New York & New Jersey Harbor Navigation Project and in cooperation with The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Approximately 50 acres of salt marsh habitat is proposed for restoration at Yellow Bar Hassock via placement of approximately 300,000 cubic yards of dredged material.