November 23, 2015
For decades, the award-winning Bluebelt program has been the natural solution to storm water management and flood reduction for one-third of Staten Island. Yesterday, DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora joined NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer to break ground on the construction of the first mid-island Bluebelt in the Midland Beach neighborhood.
DDC and DEP will turn 400 acres of Staten Island’s midland region into Bluebelts that will provide drainage for a total of 19 watersheds. The first phase of the project will build two wetlands in the South Richmond and mid-Island areas, and add a new, 32-foot wide west branch of New Creek that will convey the stormwater to the main channel of New Creek and the New York Harbor.
The Bluebelt program is a large scale system of best management practices (BMPs) and part of DDC’s commitment to building sustainable strategies that prevent erosion, pollution, and dangerous flooding. Later phases of the project will include the installation of catch basins and storm sewers under neighborhood streets to collect and direct water to the Bluebelts. The green infrastructure will also provide a natural open landscape, promoting public health in the surrounding communities and serving as a habitat for diverse wildlife. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.