New Green Roofs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Absorb Stormwater, Ease Pressure on the Local Drainage System and Improve the Health of the East River

October 4, 2021

With funding from DEP’s Grant Program, new green roofs capture nearly 2.5 million gallons of stormwater in a typical year; Photos are available on DEP’s Flickr Page

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today joined with Steiner NYC to announce the addition of three green roofs at Admiral’s Row in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In total, more than 23,000 square feet of previously impermeable rooftop has been covered with soil and planted with ornamental grasses, perennial wildflowers and sedum in order to absorb the rain that falls on it, or nearly 2.5 million gallons in a typical year. By keeping the rainfall out of the local drainage system, the green roofs help to decrease flooding and reduce sewer overflows into the East River. The projects were made possible, in part, thanks to a nearly $700,000 grant provided through DEP’s Green Infrastructure Grant Program.

“DEP’s Green Infrastructure Grant program encourages property owners to do their part to manage stormwater and help keep it out of our sewer system,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “This project is a wonderful example of a partnership between government and a strong community leader to build the green infrastructure, which has enhanced the sustainability of the Navy Yard and is already helping to improve the health of the East River and New York Harbor.”

“We built Admirals Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, anchored by NYC’s first Wegmans supermarket, with sustainability at the forefront of our design. The green roofs and extensive landscaping with their native plant palette create a bio-diversity that butterflies and birds have already been enjoying. We are glad to be supporting the local ecology while also reducing the heating and cooling demand of the buildings,” said Chairman of Steiner NYC, Doug Steiner.

“Green roofs are a critical tool in reducing urban heat island effect, promoting biodiversity, as well as reducing stormwater runoff and flooding. These new installations at the Brooklyn Navy Yard are critically important as we confront the effects of a rapidly changing climate. I look forward to working with DEP to promote this needed infrastructure throughout our borough,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“I am excited to see the DEP Green Infrastructure Grant program benefiting the 33rd Council District, and no more suitable place to lead by example than at the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “With our two Superfund sites, the 33rd and our surrounding bodies of water are heavily impacted by stormwater drainage. These new green roofs will help ease the pressure on our drainage system and combined sewer overflows, and contribute to a healthier East River, New York Harbor and our marine ecosystem—as well as to the health of all New Yorkers. I applaud DEP and Steiner NYC for their efforts here.”

3 Flushing Avenue and 25 Navy Street at Admirals Row in the Brooklyn Navy Yard now include 11,736 square feet of intensive green roofing, designed by Future Green Studio. The green roof has meadow plantings, including ornamental grasses and flowering perennials. Kelco Construction was the lead contractor with oversight by New York Green Roofs. DEP’s Grant Award of $351,788 and Steiner NYC’s contribution of $537,000 paid for the project. The green roof will manage approximately 1,800,000 gallons of stormwater annually.

399 Sands Street (also known as 303 Sands Street), a nine-story building with five floors of light industrial/office space and four floors of parking, adjacent to Admiral’s Row in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, now features an 11,465 square foot sedum green roof. Brooklyn Grange was the lead contractor on the project, with landscape design by Michael Van Valkenburg Architects. The Green Roof was fully funded by DEP’s Grant award of $344,881 and it will manage approximately 660,000 gallons of stormwater annually.

Steiner NYC is one of 33 partners that DEP has committed funding to through the Grant Program. In total, DEP has committed over $13 million to its Grant Program partners who, in turn, have contributed nearly $7 million in matching funds. Not-for-profit organizations, private property owners and businesses are eligible for funding for retrofitting rooftops with green roofs to manage stormwater on private property. DEP accepts applications on a rolling basis, year-round. Consideration will be given to projects that are cost effective, replicable, and provide matching funds or other contributions.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.8 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.1 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Led by Doug Steiner, Steiner NYC and its predecessor companies have been builders and developers for over 100 years. Steiner has developed, constructed, leased and managed over 10 million square feet of real estate in fifteen states. Notable projects include Steiner Studios, comprised of 780,000 square feet of film and television production facilities on 50 acres inside the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard, and “Hub,” a 750-unit, 56-story, mixed-income rental tower in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. Steiner is currently developing Steiner Sequel, an 800,000 square foot, state-of-the-art film and television production studio in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.