For thousands of years, Jamaica Bay has served as an important ecological resource for flora and fauna. The Bay has evolved over the last 25,000 years as an important and complex network of open water, salt marsh, grasslands, coastal woodlands, maritime shrublands, brackish and freshwater wetlands. Jamaica Bay, one of the largest coastal wetland ecosystems in New York State, is a component of the National Park Service’s (NPS) Gateway National Recreation Area (GNRA). The approximately 20,000 acres of water, islands, marshes, and shorelines support seasonal or year round populations of 214 species of special concern, including state and federally endangered and threatened species. Because of its geographic size and very diverse functioning natural habitats, it is no surprise that Jamaica Bay is a nationally and internationally renowned New York City location. Beginning in the 1800s, rapid urbanization and development resulted in Jamaica Bay consisting of six urban tributaries with many water quality challenges. Efforts to address water quality in Jamaica Bay date back to the 1960s, when New York City was constructing Waste Water Treatment Plants to treat sewage and industrial wastes during dry weather and to capture a portion of the combined sewage generated during wet weather. DEP is currently working on a Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) to better understand CSO impacts on water quality in Jamaica Bay. Check back often for materials and resources as the LTCP develops.
Jamaica Bay LTCP Kickoff Meeting (September 22, 2016 – Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Queens)