New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has announced the last planting of the 54 acres restoration of degraded wetlands on Staten Island’s West Shore.
The wetland was successfully restored through the Saw Mill Creek Mitigation Bank pilot program, a first-of-its-kind program in New York City. Mitigation banking provides the opportunity to use public-private financing to fund large-scale restoration of wetlands while fostering ecologically responsible waterfront construction, said NYCEDC in its release.
“NYCEDC is proud to deliver the Saw Mill Creek Mitigation Bank project, which has been successful in restoring and protecting Staten Island’s valuable wetlands,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett.
“This program proves that innovative approaches to wetland restoration and coastal development are not only effective, but vital to our city’s resiliency efforts. I’d like to thank New York City Parks, the State’s Department of Conservation and Regional Economic Development Grant Councils, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Hudson River Foundation’s Harbor Estuary Program, the Waterfront Alliance and our community partners for championing this effort and who helped make this project possible.”
Located next to the West Shore Industrial Business Improvement District, Saw Mill Creek is a natural area between the West Shore Expressway and the Arthur Kill. The wetland suffered severe damage from historic dumping and from Hurricane Sandy undermining the site’s ecological function.
Through this restoration project, which broke ground in 2017, more than 40,000 cubic yards of debris and contaminated sediments were removed from tidal wetlands, marshlands and mudflats that make up the Saw Mill Creek watershed, creating a net increase of 24 acres of wetlands.