The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to restore some of the salt marshes along Gerritsen and Mill creeks in Marine Park, bringing it back to their wildlife-suited environment.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started working on the $8 million project last spring, and are expected to finish by this winter. Most of the work required to create the 67 acres of marshland habitat was completed over the summer. The grading of the grassland is scheduled to be completed by spring.
The marshes and waterways, once used as a dumping area for old or unwanted belongings has been covered with biodegradable materials and clean sand, the Corps hauled the remaining waste off to landfill. Workers continue removing trash and use sand to cover areas once filled with plant phragmites (invasive tall reeds), which were recently removed, in part of the restoration project.
The Corps is also working to create coastal grasslands along the bank of Gerritsen Creek, adding that the new grassland will form part of a contiguous wildlife habitat running several thousand feet through Marine Park, Army Corps Project Manager Daniel Falt told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Those who hold an interest in the reconstruction efforts of the salt marshes are hoping that the new habitat will improve nesting opportunities for waterfowl-ducks, geese, etc.
The Corps goal is to increase the populations of native fish, oysters, shorebirds, and plants that were once plentiful in the Marine Park area, Falt said.
“We have a long-term scheme to plant hundreds of acres of wetland around the bay, so this is sort of a pilot project… we’re losing marshland, so every bit we can put in Jamaica Bay is crucial.”