An agreement to improve the overall water quality and mitigate marshland loss in Jamaica Bay through a total of $115 million in new investments was announced last Thursday, Feb. 25 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis, Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Cas Holloway and Natural Resources Defense Council Executive Director Peter Lehner.
The city will dedicate $100 million to installing new nitrogen control technologies at wastewater treatment plants located on Jamaica Bay. These investments, made in concert with $95 million the city already has committed for nitrogen control upgrades, aim to reduce the nitrogen loads discharged into Jamaica Bay by nearly 50 percent over the next ten years.
The city also will invest $15 milstruction lion [sic] for marshland restoration projects around the bay. As part of the agreement, the DEC will exempt the city from $45 million in potential penalties for construction delays in nitrogen upgrades at other wastewater treatment plants and those dollars will be invested in future clean water projects.
“Jamaica Bay is without question one of the most bountiful wildlife habitats in the entire Northeast,” said Bloomberg. “It is important to the people who live in the area for its rich biodiversity, the recreation it offers, and the protection the marshlands provide from flooding. This agreement is an outstanding example of government and citizens’ groups working together to meet a major goal of our sweeping PlaNYC agenda: improving the quality of waterways around the city.”