July 1, 2016

MoMA PS1 presents Rockaway!, a site-specific outdoor installation by artist Katharina Grosse (Germany, b. 1961). Reflecting the bold colors of sunset in the Rockaways, Grosse has transformed Fort Tilden's decaying aquatics building into a monumental and sublime artwork using a specialized technique of spraying brightly colored paint directly onto the structure. Grosse’s installation serves as a final celebration and memorialization of this iconic building, which was rendered structurally unsound by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and is set to be demolished in late 2016.

Grosse’s singular approach highlights the potential of painting as a medium, and encapsulates the stark beauty of this manmade structure and its natural surroundings. In her practice, Grosse seeks to extend the scope of her painting beyond the borders of the canvas. Grosse’s installation work seamlessly combines subtle nuances of light and shadow, characteristic of traditional landscape painting, with the weight and spectacle of large-scale sculpture. These sprawling and sculptural landscapes evoke the physicality of action painting and earthworks through their gestures and monumentality.

Rockaway! is organized in collaboration with the Rockaway Artists Alliance,Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks ConservancyNational Park ServiceCentral Park ConservancyNYC Parks & Recreation and Rockaway Beach Surf Club.

Rockaway! is a celebration of the ongoing recovery of the Rockaway Peninsula following the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, organized in collaboration with the Rockaway Artists Alliance, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, National Park Service, Central Park Conservancy, NYC Parks & Recreation, and Rockaway Beach Surf Club. Rockaway! 2016 is a continuation of MoMA PS1’s ongoing collaborative programming alongside the Rockaway Artists Alliance that began with collaborating on rescue efforts immediately following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and continued with the VW Dome 2 in 2013 and Rockaway! in summer 2014, which featured solo projects by Patti Smith, Adrián Villar Rojas, and Janet Cardiff as well as a group show at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club.

Hours
Open to the public free of charge during regular park hours.

Admission
Free

Directions
Fort Tilden (169 State Road) is accessible by the Q22 and Q35 buses, the A train/shuttle to 116th St. and weekend ferry service on the American Princess. Parking is available at adjacent Riis Park. The Rockaway Beach Surf Club (302 Beach 87th Street) is on the A train/shuttle to Beach 90th Street; bus service includes the Q22 and Q52. Parking is limited to on-street.

View the exact location of Rockaway! here.

Rockaway Artists Alliance:

Since 1995 Rockaway Artists Alliance (RAA) has brought innovative art exhibitions, cultural events, and high-quality art education programs to the Rockaway peninsula. RAA’s facilities—sTudio 6, sTudio 7, and Building T-149—are nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay in Gateway National Recreation Area’s historic Fort Tilden. RAA brings children, adults, and seniors to the Fort for interactive programs—like Rockaway!—lectures, demonstrations, and musical performances.

Rockaway Artists Alliance presents Forbidden Fruit: Street Art in a National Park, telling the story of the people, flora and fauna of Jamaica Bay. Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy:

The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC) is a public-private partnership established in 2013 that is dedicated to improving the 10,000 acres of public parkland throughout Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway Peninsula for local residents and visitors alike. With its partners at the National Park Service and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, JBRPC works to expand public access; increase recreational and educational opportunities; foster citizen stewardship and volunteerism; preserve and restore natural areas, including wetland and wildlife habitat; enhance cultural resources; and ensure the long-term sustainability of the parklands, including the development of the Science and Resilience Institute.

The National Park Service:

The National Park Service (NPS) operates more than 400 parks and historic sites nationwide, including Gateway National Recreation Area—which contains Fort Tilden—established in 1972 as America’s first urban national park. In 2012, NPS and the City of New York forged an unprecedented partnership to restore and revitalize 10,000 acres of unique parklands surrounding Jamaica Bay. Rockaway!, a direct outgrowth of that collaboration, seeks to attract and engage new visitors to these amazing waterfront parks.

Central Park Conservancy

The Central Park Conservancy is proud to support the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, a public-private partnership dedicated to improving the 10,000 acres of public parkland throughout Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway peninsula for local residents and visitors alike, with a series of summer volunteer opportunities and free activities, including a film festival presented by the Rockaway Artists Alliance.

New York City Department of Parks & Recreation:

NYC Parks is the steward of nearly 30,000 acres of land─14 percent of New York City. These holdings include some 3,000 acres within the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks, including Rockaway Beach, the iconic urban getaway recently rediscovered by a new generation of surfers and beach lovers. NYC Parks launched its Art in the Parks program in 1967 and now oversees more than 800 permanent monuments and dozens of temporary artworks each year and, through its collaboration with the National Park Service on the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks, provided additional support for Rockaway!

Rockaway Beach Surf Club:

Rockaway Beach Surf Club is a cultural event space, restaurant and bar devoted to promoting the love of surfing, conserving the environment and supporting its local neighborhood. Unique to Rockaway Beach is the convergence of surf and urban culture. Our mission is to inspire the community and its residents through surfing and be a fun and positive destination for visitors to the peninsula. We believe in supporting everything the community has to offer…including the work of artists, writers, musicians and all lovers of surf and beach. In 2012, Rockaway Beach Surf Club led the on-ground recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy and will continue to be a leader in the community for years to come.

Special thanks to Arverne By The Sea, LLC, Rockaway Beach Boulevard Construction, LLC and All Points, Inc. Rockaway! is made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Secunda Family Foundation.

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

June 22, 2015

The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC), announced today the beginning of groundwork at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Gateway National Recreation Area in Queens, New York, as part of a collaborative project to improve the ecological health of habitats, increase resiliency, and enhance visitor experience at the Refuge.

As part of this collaborative project, The Nature Conservancy and NPS will reduce invasive plants and restore native plant communities, including flood and salt-tolerant plants, to create better habitat for migratory birds and improve the site’s ability to recover from future floods.

“This project will have implications beyond Jamaica Bay by demonstrating how land management strategies on coastal parklands and natural areas can enhance their resilience to climate change,” said Emily Nobel Maxwell, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s New York City Program. “With more frequent flooding, sea level rise and severe storms predicted for New York City, this work has potential applications for the City’s 520 miles of coastline and beyond.”

“We must do everything possible to help make sure the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is better protected from invasive species and storm surges that pose serious threats to the habitat,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “I am pleased that the National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy are working together to help preserve the plants and animals that are native to this land. Overall, this collaborative project will create a healthier habitat that is both beautiful and a guard against flooding and storm surges.”

In addition to the native plant and coastal resiliency work, hundreds of volunteers will be engaged in re-planting the site, and others will join in monitoring butterflies and pollinators to track the project’s success.

"The JBRPC is proud to be working with The Nature Conservancy on this key restoration project that advances our goal to expand public access, increase recreational and educational opportunities, and preserve and restore natural areas, including wetland and wildlife habitat in Jamaica Bay,” said Tom Secunda, Chairman, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. “The technical expertise provided by The Nature Conservancy, working hand-in-hand with the National Park Service, will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the site."

The initial idea for this collaborative project began early last year, when a capital investment donation from the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy for a restoration project on federal land began a conversation between The Nature Conservancy and the National Park Service about the need for ecological restoration in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

“The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge provides a home to many of New York City’s animal and plant-life that deserve to live in a secure environment that is free of invasive species and resilient to future storm surge flooding,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “With our continuously growing city, we need to ensure that our marshes and wildlife sanctuaries remain protected and maintained to mitigate the harmful effects on native species. I would like to thank Commissioner Laird from National Parks, the Nature Conservancy of New York and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy for their dedicated work on this necessary restoration project.”

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, part of Gateway National Recreation Area in Queens, is a true urban gem. It’s home to an impressive array of birds—more than 330 species have been sighted—and other wildlife. The Refuge is accessible by public transportation and offers an essential connection to nature in New York City. Its location near JFK Airport and the Rockaways makes it a destination for New Yorkers and tourists alike, attracting more than 500,000 visitors each year. The Nature Conservancy and NPS will also create interpretive materials at the project site for visitors.

"As we head into the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, we can think of no better way to celebrate than through the restoration of this national treasure,” says Jen Nersesian, Superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area. “Its impacts will undoubtedly have ripple effects -- from how the knowledge gained will contribute to urban ecological restoration more broadly, to the strength of the partnership between the National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, and the potential that holds for the future of Jamaica Bay."

The Nature Conservancy and the National Park Service are optimistic that the site work will begin in Fall 2015 and continue through 2017. TNC and NPS will rely on volunteers to help plant over 20,000 native trees and shrubs at the site over the next several years. The baseline biological monitoring, including surveys of birds, soils, vegetation, and insects, will take place in spring and summer of 2015. Post-restoration monitoring will occur seasonally in the fall and spring, until at least 2017. NPS crews and volunteer stewards are anticipated to take on site maintenance after restoration crews conduct the initial invasive species removal. For more information about our work at Jamaica Bay, please visit nature.org/jamaicabay.

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

December 18, 2014

The Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay (SRI@JB) has named Adam Parris, an expert on social and environmental change in US coastal zones, as its executive director, effective February 17, 2015. Parris will lead the SRI@JB in research and activities related to the environmental resilience in urban coastal ecosystems. A partnership between the city of New York and the federal government, the SRI@JB consortium is currently hosted by lead institution Brooklyn College. This top-tier institute will welcome visiting scientists, provide lab facilities for students and researchers, organize community outreach programs, and hold events to present research findings, including those related to the restoration of Jamaica Bay and the advancement of coastal resiliency in New York City and beyond.

City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor James B. Milliken said, "Jamaica Bay is a beautiful, ecologically complex habitat for both salt-water and fresh-water fish, wildlife and plants. Long under stress by urban development, the bay faces new threats from rising ocean levels. These factors make it a crucial laboratory for the Science and Resilience Institute."

Gillian Small, CUNY's Vice Chancellor for Research said, "With human-caused climate change endangering our planet, we need great science to understand what is happening if we are to find ways to preserve our world. That's why City University joined in establishing the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, and I have no doubt that Adam Parris and his talented team with provide keen insights."

"We are excited that Adam will lead this important institute," said William A. Tramontano, Brooklyn College provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "He has wide-ranging expertise on coastal ecosystems and a strong record of administrative leadership. Adam will join a team that has been led by the institute's Interim Director William Solecki of Hunter College, who is a professor and director of the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities. They have already been working diligently since August 2013 to get key projects off the ground, including the creation of symposia at the institute and development of the institute's permanent site at Floyd Bennett Field, part of Gateway National Recreation Area's Jamaica Bay Unit. The team has also been working closely with New York City, State and Federal agencies on issues relating to Jamaica Bay and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy."

Parris comes to Brooklyn College from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he served as the Climate and Service division chief, Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program manager and as a physical scientist. RISA is internationally recognized for its role in helping decision makers to manage weather and climate risks. Parris is also the lead author on the "Global Mean Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the US National Climate Assessment." He provided technical guidance and leadership on the Sea Level Rise Tool for Sandy Recovery, for which he received the Presidential Green.Gov award as a Climate Champion. Prior to his work at NOAA, Parris was a coastal planner for the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

"The Institute is an incredibly exciting opportunity to foster science that the community can use to revitalize and transform Jamaica Bay," said Parris, who holds a B.A. from Bucknell University and an M.S. in geology from the University of Vermont. "I'm honored to lead a collaborative exchange between the region's cutting edge science institutions and the innovative people who manage Jamaica Bay. This is a testament to the current and future resilience of the city and state of New York."

Since its launch in August 2013, the SRI@JB has received $7.7 million from New York State as part of the CUNY 20/20 initiative; $3.6 million from the Department of the Interior's Hurricane Sandy Mitigation Funding to support research on environmental resilience in urban coastal ecosystems; and a commitment of $7.5 million from the City of New York for the permanent SRI@JB home within Gateway NRA's Jamaica Bay Unit. It has also received significant support form The Rockefeller Foundation directly and through the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC), a public-private partnership with the National Park Service and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, dedicated to improving the 10,000 acres of public parkland throughout Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway peninsula. The institute has begun to study the water quality within Jamaica Bay and the health and resilience of its salt marshes, and also monitor and evaluate ecosystem restoration efforts.

"Jamaica Bay is New York City's gateway to the Atlantic. The National Park Service's partnership with the SRI@JB is critical for us to better understand the ecological and sociological factors that impact the health of the Bay and its resilience to climate change and future storms," said Joshua Laird, commissioner for the National Parks of New York Harbor. "The selection of Adam Parris as the executive director is a big step forward in establishing the SRI@JB as a leader in urban coastal resilience science providing critical data that will enable the National Park Service to better manage all its coastal sites, including Gateway NRA."

"We are thrilled to welcome Adam to the Jamaica Bay team," said Thomas F. Secunda, JBRPC chair. "Under Adam's leadership, SRI@JB will become the key repository for all of the research being undertaken by the myriad groups committed to improving Jamaica Bay."

"We know that building resilience requires sound research and data as well as strong communities, and the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay is committed to both," said Peter Madonia, Chief Operating Officer at The Rockefeller Foundation and a longtime champion of the institute. "Years ago, we provided the earliest funding for the Science and Resilience Institute because we saw the potential to be the first of its kind. Superstorm Sandy only reinforced that we need it. Today, The Rockefeller Foundation remains committed to the Institute's growth and success, as it serves as yet another example of how New York is a national and global leader in resilience thinking and practice."

"Reliable science and interpretation is critical to making appropriate decisions regarding water quality investments that will protect and enhance the habitats and surrounding communities of Jamaica Bay," said NYC Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Angela Licata. "Adam has promoted the value of providing local decision-makers with research to provide informative data, and pragmatic approaches that respond to emergent challenges. We look forward to working with him in his new capacity to analyze and prepare for the risks and opportunities that lie ahead."

"Jamaica bay is one of the city's great natural assets and plays a critical role in the city's climate resiliency plan," said Daniel Zarrilli, director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency. "The city is excited to continue its work with the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, under the new leadership of Adam Parris, to improve the coastal resiliency and environmental quality of Jamaica Bay. By working together, Jamaica Bay can be a laboratory for the development of best scientific practices that can have not only a local impact, but a regional and global impact as well."

Jamaica Bay—an 18,000-acre area located at the southern edge of New York City, and bordered by Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau County—is a collection of meadowlands and waterways whose soil erosion has in recent years caused flooding of surrounding populated areas. The protection and revitalization of the bay is considered essential, not only because it is home to a diverse ecosystem, but also serves as a natural barrier against the forces of wind and tide, helping to minimize flooding and filter out pollutants.

SRI@JB is a join initiative among the National Park Service, the city of New York, and a consortium of leading research institutions, including CUNY, Columbia University, Cornell University, Rutgers University, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York Sea Grant, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University (SUNY), and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

 

Contact: Ernesto Mora

Phone Number: 212-662-9939

Emailmedia@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

October 15, 2014

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC) is dedicated to improving the 10,000 acres of public parkiand around Jamaica Bay and throughout the Rockaway peninsula. One of the greatest challenges to making these extraordinary open spaces accessible to local communities and visitors alike—and aiding in the ongoing post-Sandy recovery—is the limited transportation options. Consequently, JBRPC would like to express its support for increased public access to the Rockaways through expanded and improved subway, bus, and ferry service.

The City has made great strides in improving public transportation—from Bus Rapid Transit routes to bike lanes to its once-neglected waterways. Ferry service has increased along the East River, to and from Staten Island, and thanks to the quick response of the Economic Development Corporation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, to the Rockaways at Beach 1 08 th Street. JBRPC commends these efforts and encourages the City to not only maintain Rockaway ferry service, but to expand it to other destinations on the peninsula—particularly to isolated areas of Far Rockaway as well as across Jamaica Bay to serve the communities of Canarsie and East New York—and provide much-needed weekend service.

This past summer, JBRPC sponsored the Rockaway! public arts festival to celebrate the reopening of historic Fort Tilden and recognize the ongoing recovery of the Rockaway peninsula. In its two-month run, the festival attracted approximately 15,000 people, increasing the demand for the limited ferry service provided by the National Park Service at Riis Landing. JBRPC would very much like to work collaboratively with the City and continue to provide recreational, educational, and other opportunities that attract park users, thereby increasing ridership and supporting the City’s investment in the Rockaway ferry.

 

Sincerely,

Jackie Snyder

Executive Director, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

 
 
Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

October 7, 2014

Plan Provides Assessment of Completed and Ongoing Projects as well as Upcoming Initiatives to Improve Water Quality and Restore Natural Ecological Functions within the Bay

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd today released the 2014 update to the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan. The plan, first issued in 2007, focuses on water quality improvements, ecological restoration and enhancing valuable natural resources. The update outlines the numerous initiatives DEP has undertaken, along with state and federal partner agencies, environmental advocates, leading educational institutions and community groups, to protect one of the most bountiful wildlife habitats in the Northeastern Unites States. Ongoing initiatives include wastewater treatment plant upgrades, oyster and ribbed mussel pilot restoration projects, wetlands restoration, green infrastructure projects and Geographic Information System mapping. The updated plan can be viewed on the DEP website here.

“Jamaica Bay is one of New York City’s most unique natural environments and we are committed to protecting and enhancing its overall health and expanding public access,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “The Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan sets a framework for this critical work that will be accomplished through partnerships between many different levels of government, local educational institutions, environmental leaders and dedicated community groups.”

Jamaica Bay is a 31-square-mile water body with a broader watershed of approximately 142 square miles, which includes portions of Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau County. The bay is a diverse ecological resource that supports multiple habitats, including open water, salt marshes, grasslands, coastal woodlands, maritime shrublands, and brackish and freshwater wetlands. These habitats support 91 fish species, 325 species of birds, and many reptile, amphibian, and small mammal species. Below are updates on some of the ongoing initiatives to protect and enhance the ecological health of Jamaica Bay:

Ribbed Mussel Pilot

In 2011, DEP established a demonstration project of Ribbed Mussels in Fresh Creek, a tributary to Jamaica Bay. Ribbed Mussels are naturally occurring in the Bay and filter water. The project is being monitored to determine whether a more robust population within the center of the channel could remove substantial quantities of impurities from the water, particularly near combined sewer and stormwater outfalls. Monitoring of the mussel colonization density and water quality will continue through late fall of 2014 and a report will be issued in 2015.

Paerdegat Basin Restoration

DEP has restored 52 acres of tidal wetlands and coastal grasslands adjacent to Paerdegat Basin, a tributary of Jamaica Bay. The $35 million project also included the establishment of a five acre ecology park, which highlights many of the city’s ecosystems. This work, in combination with the construction of a $357 million combined sewer overflow retention facility at the head of the basin, has contributed to significant improvement in Paerdegat Basin water quality.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades

DEP operates four wastewater treatment plants located along Jamaica Bay or its tributaries that have the capacity to treat up to 240 million gallons of wastewater every day. Nitrogen is a naturally occurring element that is found in food and other organic materials and is present in wastewater when it enters treatment plants. Because nitrogen is not a pathogen and poses no threat to human health, the wastewater treatment plants were not originally designed to remove it from the treated water before it is discharged into the receiving water body. However, high levels of nitrogen can degrade the overall ecology of a waterway by reducing levels of dissolved oxygen and promoting excessive algae growth, especially in warm weather months. At a cost of $230 million, DEP is implementing advanced technology at the four treatment plants that will reduce daily nitrogen discharges by up to 60 percent.

Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay

In 2011, the City and the federal government announced a new cooperative agreement to improve the parklands adjacent to the Bay. In 2013, the partners established the Science and Resilience Institute to act as a top tier research center, with invaluable local experience from the region’s most respected scientific institutions, which will execute an intensive research program focused on the restoration of Jamaica Bay and advance the role of science in managing resources and building regional resilience to future storms. Earlier this summer, the Institute was awarded a $7.7 million grant from New York State to build a new center to house the research activities as well as to purchase a new research vessel. It also secured a $3.6 million grant to support research efforts.

Marsh and Wetland Restoration

Over the last 150 years, Jamaica Bay has lost a significant amount of marsh and wetland areas due to a variety of factors, including sea level rise, dredging and filling throughout the Bay, a loss of sediment, and increased tidal heights. Many of these changes have permanently altered sections of the bay. As such, habitat restoration along the periphery of Jamaica Bay continues to play a significant role in meeting the goals of creating highly productive ecological areas and improved habitat. The City has been leveraging $7 million of its funds, along with matching federal and state contributions, to help restore over 150 acres of salt marsh islands. In all, DEP has secured $14 million in federal and state funding for wetland restoration in Jamaica Bay over the last 6-years. It is expected that the City can leverage another $8 million to secure an additional $16 million in matching funding over the next few years. Local communities are also taking a strong role in restoration through funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and DEP. Non-profit organizations such as EcoWatchers, Jamaica Bay Guardian, and the American Littoral Society have completed a community-based planting effort to vegetate thirty new acres created at Black Wall and Rulers Bar in June 2013.

Marsh Island Wave Attenuator Study

DEP will construct a floating wetland wave attenuator at Brant Point along the southern shoreline of Jamaica Bay. A wave attenuator is an anchored island of floating material offshore of a wetland or shoreline which deflects and reduces the energy of waves. The pilot study will evaluate the potential for wave attenuation on a specific section of eroding wetland shoreline to investigate the growth of beneficial wetland building sediments and the anticipated decreased rate of shoreline loss. The temporary floating wetland structures will be a “proxy” for potential future oyster beds around wetlands to evaluate their wave energy reduction value. DEP has obtained the permits needed for construction to proceed and it is expected that work will begin later this year or in early 2015. Once completed, the attenuator and adjacent shoreline will be monitored for a period of time and the data will be included in a summary report.

Belt Parkway Green Infrastructure Installations

DEP is partnering with the New York City Department of Transportation to build green infrastructure along the medians and shoulder areas of the Belt Parkway. The stormwater that falls on the Parkway, including its bridges, rather than be diverted directly into the Bay and its tributaries, is directed to the green infrastructure where it can be naturally absorbed into the ground. During construction, the installations are excavated and then backfilled with layers of stone and engineered soil. These layers contain void spaces that store the stormwater and promote infiltration. The addition of hardy plants further encourages infiltration through root growth and increases its capacity through evapotranspiration. In addition to naturally filtering and absorbing excess stormwater, the green infrastructure provides important habitats for native plants. Construction is complete at the Paerdegat and Rockaway sites and preliminary observations indicate that they are meeting project objectives. Similar installations for the Gerritsen Bridge are being planned.

Jamaica Bay Watershed Green Infrastructure

DEP is currently engaged in a citywide effort to soften the impervious urban landscape to help absorb rainwater that would otherwise drain into the combined sewer system and contribute to combined sewer overflows into local waterways. A focal point of this effort is the installation of specially designed curbside gardens, or bioswales, in sidewalks throughout neighborhoods that are served by combined sewers, including the Jamaica Bay watershed. The bioswales resemble standard street tree pits, except that they vary in size, have curb cuts that allow stormwater to enter and overflow, and have been designed in a way that will allow them to manage between 1,300 and 3,000 gallons each during a storm. The construction of bioswales throughout the Jamaica Bay watershed will accelerate significantly in 2014-2015.

Area-Wide Sewer Upgrades

The post-World War II commercial and residential development of southeast Queens outpaced the extension of the City’s sewer system and many neighborhoods in the area are not yet equipped with catch basins or storm sewers to drain precipitation from the roadways. The multi-year, $6 billion effort to construct a comprehensive storm sewer system for the area includes projects such as the final stages of the $175 million Springfield Gardens upgrade that will bring nine miles of storm sewers and eight miles of sanitary sewers to the area, a $26 million upgrade for the Brookville Boulevard area, an $18 million project that will bring high level storm sewers to the Twin Ponds neighborhood, and a $5 million project to install an additional sewer line under 183rd Street at Jamaica Avenue.

Oyster Bed Pilot

The restoration of oyster colonies within Jamaica Bay could potentially help regenerate the natural environment of the Bay and also improve water quality. To evaluate whether environmental and climactic conditions are suitable for oyster growth in the Bay, DEP installed an oyster bed off of Dubos Point in Queens and oyster reef balls in Gerristen Creek, in Brooklyn. Monitoring showed adequate conditions for oyster survival and growth and they did in fact reproduce over several years, although there was no sign of new oysters joining the colonies. With $1 million in new funding obtained through the Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Grant Program, the pilots will be scaled up to a half-acre in size in early 2015.

Jamaica Bay Watershed Ecological Atlas

To better inform area-wide wetland protection programs, DEP has developed a Geographic Information System (GIS) based Jamaica Bay Watershed Ecological Atlas. It provides a complete and updated inventory of all vacant City-owned properties and a characterization of their habitat and stormwater attributes, a GIS-mapping and data layer that can be used to develop and leverage future stormwater management ecological restoration designs, and a prioritized list and map of potential sites for stormwater management and ecological restoration and conservation. The Atlas will be available on DEP’s website later this fall.

The 2007 Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan was the result of research and dialogue with stakeholders and consultation with the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan Advisory Committee. The plan was undertaken in accordance with Local Law 71, which requires DEP to assess the technical, legal, environmental and economic feasibility of protection measures for Jamaica Bay and produce a report every three years. A portion of the money used for the marsh and wetland restoration projects was from environmental benefit funds paid by the City as part of the resolution of an enforcement matter brought by the State pursuant to the First Amended Nitrogen Consent Judgment.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight 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 nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts, and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.

 

Contact: DEP Press Office

Phone Number: 718-595-6600

Emaildeppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov

 

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

Join the Friends of Penn and Fountain Parks on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 9 AM for a fun-filled, educational bus tour of the 407 acres of potential parkland. With 360-degree panorama views, the parks offer stunning views of the flora and fauna, as well as the Manhattan skyline and Atlantic Ocean. The tour, which is approximately 2.5 hours long, is led by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and the National Park Service. 

Meeting Location: Brooklyn Sports Club, 1540 Van Siclen Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Registration: No pre-registration is required. Sign in at the door beginning at 9 AM. The event will begin with a brief presentation by NYCDEP followed by the bus tour. Fifty seats are available; first come, first served. 

For more information, please contact the Friends of Penn and Fountain Parks at pennfountain@aol.com.

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

September 4, 2014

Crews have resumed pumping sand onto the beaches of Rockaway as part of the Corps of Engineers’ effort to repair and restore the engineered beach there to provide coastal storm risk management benefits to the community.

Work was temporarily stopped this summer when, as expected, crews moving east reached nesting areas of the endangered piping plover around Beach 61st Street. The plovers have fledged and the no-construction environmental window ended at the beginning of September so crews have now resumed sand pumping operations.

Sand pumping will begin in the area of Beach 61st Street and continue east to the eastern end of the project area at Beach 19th Street. Sand has already been placed from Beach 149th to Beach 61st. Sand placement work is expected to be completed by the end of October.

There will be rolling beach closures of roughly 1000 foot wide sections of the beach that will be fenced off where construction work is active, but the Corps of Engineers will make efforts to limit the impacts of the ongoing work on recreation without compromising public safety. Closures will be closely coordinated with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

So far, crews have pumped roughly 3 million cubic yards of sand at Rockaway since Hurricane Sandy and will be placing roughly 500,000 cubic yards in this final push to complete construction.

The sand pumping will complete the overall repair and restore work at Rockaway Beach, which consisted of pumping roughly 3.5 million cubic yards of sand along Rockaway Beach since Hurricane Sandy to replace sand lost during the storm as well as place additional sand to restore the beach to its design profile from when the Corps initially constructed the current Rockaway Beach project in the 1970s.

The project, primarily a wide, flat elevated beach berm, is designed to reduce risks to the community by keeping the erosive power of the waves from reaching structures and infrastructure and reducing damages from waves, inundation, and erosion.

Once sand placement work is complete, Rockaway Beach will be higher and wider than it has been in decades. This work, combined with the New York City-funded elevated berm at the back of the project area, will provide a greater level of risk management than has ever existed along the Atlantic coast of Rockaway.

The repair and restore of Rockaway Beach is being completed through two contracts, both awarded to Weeks Marine of Cranford, New Jersey. The first contract, completed in the fall of 2013, was a $10 million contract and involved the placement of roughly 600,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from East Rockaway Inlet. The second contract, which started this spring and is being currently being finished, is a $26.4 million contract that involves the placement of roughly 2.9 million cubic yards of sand.

 

Contact: Chris Gardner

Phone Number: 917-790-8007

Email: christopher.p.gardner@usace.army.mil

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

August 18, 2014

Legislation Drafted by Senator Addabbo and Assemblyman Goldfeder to Protect Jamaica Bay From Toxic Dumping Becomes Law; Governor Signs Legislation to Preserve Jamaica Bay

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder proudly announced that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed their legislation (A.2074A/S.3392A) to prevent state regulatory agencies from issuing permits to allow dumping hazardous materials into Jamaica Bay’s borrow pits, ultimately limiting the risk of water contamination.

“This legislation is a huge victory for our families in Broad Channel and every community surrounding Jamaica Bay,”said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “This law will not only protect the waters of Jamaica Bay from hazardous dumping, but also ensures that thousands of endangered bird species and wildlife remain safe. Jamaica Bay is not only an environmental resource but has become an economic engine in southern Queens. I am thankful for the partnership with Senator Addabbo and the support Governor Cuomo to help preserve Jamaica Bay.”

“Communities surrounding Jamaica Bay can now breathe a little easier with the passing of this bill, both figuratively and literally. In the Legislature, we fought for this because our backyards and the beautiful bay waters are not a dumping ground for hazardous waste. Life in the water, on the water and around the water must be preserved,” said Senator Addabbo. "In the district, we were all fortunate enough to grow up with Jamaica Bay and I hope this legislation will ensure future generations can enjoy the serenity and beauty for years to come. I appreciate the persistent efforts of my colleague, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and thank the Governor for his support."

Prior to the elected official’s legislation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) did not have any guidelines for state waters, including Jamaica Bay. This new law will prohibit DEC from issuing permits that would allow hazardous materials from being dumped into the borrow pits of Jamaica Bay and contaminating the surrounding waters. Borrow pits include a number of locations throughout the bay that have an increased depth as a result of past Army Corp. of Engineer dredging projects that have removed sand from the bay floor to fill in adjacent areas.

"Assemblyman Goldfeder and Senator Addabbo's legislation will close a legislative loophole that has threatened Jamaica Bay for over thirty years," said Dan Mundy Jr. of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers. "The current regulation that allows contaminated fill to be placed in the waters of the bay has attracted numerous ill-conceived plans that are possibly driven by huge potential financial benefits to a few, while potentially destroying the bay forever! This legislation will end these plans and the threats they pose for good! Assemblyman Goldfeder has been at the leading edge in advocating for the protection and preservation of Jamaica Bay in order to ensure this treasured resource can be enjoyed by future generations."

“We commend Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation into law,” concluded Addabbo, Goldfeder. “Dredged materials leaching with toxins have no right to be dumped in our waters and now we finally have the laws in place to keep our families away from harm and preserve the natural ecosystem of Jamaica Bay for years to come.”

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

June 26, 2014

The National Park Service, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD), is preparing an environmental assessment (EA) in support of a proposed project to address damage that resulted from a breach that occurred at the West Pond of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge during Hurricane Sandy. 

NPS is asking the public to help the park define both the natural and cultural values and characteristics important for protection of this popular area. To do this, the Gateway National Recreation Area will host an open house public meeting on July 17, 2014, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. The meeting will be held in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at Cross Bay Boulevard, Queens, N.Y. The meeting is the first step in the development of an EA.

“We know that this is one of the most visible reminders of the damage from Hurricane Sandy in Jamaica Bay,” said Gateway Superintendent Jennifer Nersesian. “An environmental assessment will help us make the smartest choice for the west pond and what future storms may bring.”

The purpose of the proposed project is to provide for environmentally sensitive and resilient conditions along the West Pond Trail area that support a diversity of Jamaica Bay habitats and wildlife. The EA will address any potential impacts to natural or cultural resources that may result from the proposed project. NPS will gather input from park staff, other agencies and the public to consider the potential effects of the proposed project.

The EA will look at the area’s natural and cultural resources to be sure that they are protected as part of the assessment. “We will be asking the public to share their knowledge about this special area with us as a part of the work,” said Acting Chief of Resource Management Dave Taft. “We will gather information from the public, non-profit organizations, and other federal and state agencies to ensure that we understand fully what they value about this popular and important area of Jamaica Bay.”

The EA will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act to provide a decision-making framework that: 1) analyzes a reasonable range of alternatives to meet project objectives; 2) evaluates potential issues and impacts to park resources and values; and 3) identifies mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of these impacts.

The public has two opportunities to formally comment on the project: during the public scoping period for the EA, and again during a 30-day public review following release of the EA. Public scoping comments about the proposed project may be submitted electronically from June 30 through July 30, 2014, at the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment web site:

Comments may be submitted online at http://www.nps.gov/gate/index.htm or mailed to the park at the following address:

Gateway National Recreation Area

ATTN:  Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, West Pond EA Comments

210 New York Avenue

Staten Island, NY 10305.

 

Contact: Reina Becnel, Public Affairs

Phone Number: 718-354-4606

Download Press Release (PDF format)

 

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

June 16, 2014

In October 2012, a massive storm surge from Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage to the eastern coast of the United States. In the weeks following the event, NFWF launched a fund to conduct rapid assessments of the ecological impacts of the storm and to support urgent 
remedial actions. 

In a race against the clock, NFWF worked with partners to restore beaches critical to Horseshoe Crabs and the threatened Red Knot. The investment resulted in a critical remedial action for fish and wildlife. By May, beaches were restored in time for thousands of Horseshoe Crabs to lay their eggs and initiate a feeding frenzy for the migrating Red Knot. 

In August 2013, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that NFWF would assist in administering the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program which will support projects that reduce communities’ vulnerability to the growing risks from coastal storms, sea level rise, flooding, erosion and associated threats through strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit fish and wildlife. ( see Grant Program Overview )

Download 2014 Grant List (PDF format)

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

June 29–September 1, 2014
Rockaway!, a free public arts festival sponsored by the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC) to celebrate the reopening of Fort Tilden and recognize the ongoing recovery of the Rockaway peninsula, opens June 29 and continues through September 1, 2014. 

Invited by the Rockaway Artists Alliance (RAA), an association of artists based in and around the Rockaways, and the JBRPC, MoMA PS1 has assisted and supported the conception of this festival. Hosted by the National Park Service (NPS), which owns and manages Fort Tilden, Rockaway! showcases the natural and historical beauty of Fort Tilden, in which RAA has had a public gallery for the past 19 years. 

Rockaway! was conceived by MoMA PS1’s Director, Klaus Biesenbach, in close collaboration with Patti Smith. There will be an additional group show in the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, organized in collaboration with the Honolulu Biennial.

History of the Collaboration

MoMA PS1’s collaboration with RAA and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) began with the VW Dome 2, a temporary cultural and community center the museum constructed on Beach 95th Street in Rockaway Beach following the rescue and volunteer efforts the museum organized in the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy. Operated through June 30, 2013, the VW Dome 2 was made possible by a long-term partnership with Volkswagen of America.

Given its work on the VW Dome 2, MoMA PS1 was in a unique position to facilitate a coordinated effort between the newly established JBRPC, a public-private partnership with NPS and DPR dedicated to improving the 10,000 acres of public parkland throughout Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway peninsula, and local artists and community groups in the Rockaways. Rockaway! is an encouraging example of the many collaborations that have developed through the challenging process of rebuilding the Rockaways.

The Exhibition

The acclaimed international artist, writer, and musician Patti Smith—a Rockaway resident—conceived a large-scale installation, photography exhibition, and site-specific outdoor installation (The Resilience of the Dreamer) specially for Rockaway! Having witnessed personal belongings of Rockaway residents being destroyed and washed away during Sandy, Smith will install a gilded four-post bed with pure white linens in a long-abandoned building that lacks windows and parts of its roof. The bed will wear down physically, yet remain in place, a symbol of courage and resilience.

In the RAA galleries, an exhibition of photographs taken by Smith over the last several years focuses on objects that were dear to their owners: Robert Mapplethorpe’s slippers, Robert Graves's hat, Virginia Woolf’s bed, Frida Kahlo’s corset, and William Burroughs's bandana, among others. The adjoining gallery is dedicated to Walt Whitman and includes books of his poetry that visitors are invited to read. Smith has also placed five granite stones engraved with verses from Whitman’s poetry along the trails of Fort Tilden to mark the far ends of this scenic urban park on the ocean.

In addition, the Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas will present a selection of small sculptures made from unfired clay and straw, inspired by the nests of the tiny Argentinian birds known as horneros. Installed in several locations throughout Fort Tilden, these nests invite local birds to inhabit them, offering a temporary home in this beautiful and fragile environment. These nests—a number of which can be found along the impressive hills and former batteries—also highlight the military history of Fort Tilden, which was built to provide protection against a potential enemy invasion from the ocean.

Thanks to a loan from The Museum of Modern Art, Fort Tilden’s military chapel—which was damaged by Sandy and is now being restored—will showcase one of the highlights from the MoMA collection: The Forty Piece Motet by Janet Cardiff, a spatialized adaptation of a sacred 16th-century motet created by recording each member of a choir individually and giving each voice its own speaker. 

The final component of the festival is a group exhibition organized in collaboration with the Honolulu Biennial on the grounds of the newly restored Rockaway Beach Surf Club on Beach 87th Street in Rockaway Beach. Following Hurricane Sandy, the Surf Club was the one of the largest relief centers on the peninsula; their organization facilitated and directed over 5,000 volunteers, with major contributions from MoMA PS1. The exhibition celebrates the efforts of the Rockaway community of surfers and artists in rebuilding their neighborhood. Artists include:  Nanu Al-Hamad, Uri Aran, Davide Balula, Neil Beloufa, Anna Betbeze, Huma Bhabha, Carol Bove, Lizzi Bourgatsos, Olaf Breuning, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda, James Clar, Shezad Dawood, Rodney Dickson, Thomas Dozol, Zachary Drucker, Olafur Eliasson, James Ferraro, Fred Fleisher, Ryan Foerster, Shingo Francis, Daniel Gordon, Hugh Hayden, Rachel Harrison, Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, Camille Henrot, Jonathan Horowitz, Donna Huanca, Khalil Huffman, Alex Israel, Gavin Kenyon, Caitlin Keogh, Andrei Koschmieder, Ajay Kurian, Sadie Laska, Margaret Lee, Dominik Lejman, Jason Losh, Isabelle Lumpkin, Nancy Lupo, Marcos Lutyens, Gloria Maximo, Ryan McNamara, John Miller, Tracey Moffatt, Marlie Mul, Georgie Nettell, Adrienne Pao, Elizabeth Peyton, Adam Putman, Ugo Rondinone, Aura Rosenberg, Tom Sachs, Laurie Simmons, Xaviera Simmons, Michael Stipe, Keith Tallet and Sally Lundberg, Stewart Uoo, Allyson Vierira, Patrick Walsh, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Chai Siris, Saya Woolfalk, and Amy Yao

Partnership

Rockaway! is presented by the Rockaway Artists Alliance and MoMA PS1, the National Park Service, the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, and the Honolulu Biennial. The festival is made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Secunda Family Foundation, with additional support provided by the Moore Charitable Foundation, National Grid, and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Special thanks to Volkswagen of America for prior and current support.
 ________________________________________

Media Contact
press_momaps1@moma.org 
For downloadable high-resolution images, register at MoMA.org/press. 
MoMAPS1.org • MoMA.org

Hours: Exhibits at Fort Tilden are open to the public free of charge on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, noon–6:00 p.m. The Surf Club exhibit is also open to the public free of charge Monday–Friday, noon–midnight; Saturday–Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–midnight.
The Forty Piece Motet by Janet Cardiff will be open through August 17 only. 

Admission: Free

Directions: Fort Tilden (169 State Road) is accessible by the Q22 and Q35 buses, the A train/shuttle to 116th St. and weekend ferry service on the American Princess. Parking is available at adjacent Riis Park. The Rockaway Beach Surf Club (302 Beach 87th Street) is on the A train/shuttle to Beach 90th Street; bus service includes the Q22 and Q52. Parking is limited to on-street.

Website: MoMAPS1.org/rockaway1

Opening Day Schedule:  Noon-8 p.m.          Exhibitions on view at Fort Tilden and family-friendly                                                                                   activities 
                                           7 p.m.                     Spoken word performance by Patti Smith
                                                                          Poetry reading by James Franco
                                           8 p.m.-midnight     After party at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club
________________________________________

Rockaway Artists Alliance: Since 1995 Rockaway Artists Alliance (RAA) has brought innovative art exhibitions, cultural events, and high-quality art education programs to the Rockaway peninsula. RAA’s facilities—sTudio 6, sTudio 7, and Building T-149—are nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay 
in Gateway National Recreation Area’s historic Fort Tilden. RAA brings children, adults, and seniors to the Fort for interactive programs—like Rockaway!—lectures, demonstrations, and musical performances.

The National Park Service: The National Park Service (NPS) operates more than 400 parks and historic sites nationwide, including Gateway National Recreation Area—which contains Fort Tilden—established in 1972 as America’s first urban national park. In 2012, NPS and the City of New York forged an unprecedented partnership to restore and revitalize 10,000 acres of unique parklands surrounding Jamaica Bay. Rockaway!, a direct outgrowth of that collaboration, seeks to attract and engage new visitors to these amazing waterfront parks. 

Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy: The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC) is a public-private partnership established in 2013 that is dedicated to improving the 10,000 acres of public parkland throughout Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway peninsula for local residents and visitors alike. With its partners at the National Park Service and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, JBRPC works to expand public access; increase recreational and educational opportunities; foster citizen stewardship and volunteerism; preserve and restore natural areas, including wetland and wildlife habitat; enhance cultural resources; and ensure the long-term sustainability of the parklands, including the development of the Science and Resilience Institute.
 
Rockaway Beach Surf Club: Rockaway Beach Surf Club is a cultural event space, restaurant, and bar devoted to promoting the love of surfing, conserving the environment, and supporting its local neighborhood. Unique to Rockaway Beach is the convergence of surf and urban culture. Our mission is to inspire the community and its residents through surfing and to be a fun and positive destination for visitors to the peninsula. In 2012, Rockaway Beach Surf Club led the on-ground recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy, and it will continue to be a leader in the community through nonprofit endeavors.

Honolulu Biennial: The Honolulu Biennial, founded by Hawai’i-born international curators Dr. KJ Baysa and Isabella Ellaheh Hughes, marks Hawaii’s first entry into the global biennial circuit, focusing on art from Oceania, the Asian continent, and the Americas with its preview event: The Chain of Fire – Introducing the Honolulu Biennial 2014. Officially launching in 2016, the Biennial will present groundbreaking international contemporary art, in addition to highlighting Hawaii’s notable, but under-recognized contributions by its communities and individuals to global arts and culture on the international stage. In addition, the Biennial will highlight Honolulu as a fresh destination for international and national arts and cultural tourists, fostering a cultural awakening and positioning of Honolulu as central to the Pacific-wide growth of arts, technology, and commerce.

New York City Department of Parks & Recreation: NYC Parks is the steward of nearly 30,000 acres of land─14 percent of New York City. These holdings include some 3,000 acres within the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks, including Rockaway Beach, the iconic urban getaway recently rediscovered by a new generation of surfers and beach lovers. NYC Parks launched its Art in the Parks program in 1967 and now oversees more than 800 permanent monuments and dozens of temporary artworks each year and, through its collaboration with the National Park Service on the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks, provided additional support for Rockaway!

MoMA PS1: MoMA PS1 is one of the largest and oldest organizations in the United States devoted to contemporary art. Established in 1976 by Alanna Heiss, MoMA PS1 originated from The Institute for Art and Urban Resources, a not-for-profit organization founded five years prior with the mission of turning abandoned, underutilized buildings in New York City into artist studios and exhibition spaces. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, as it then was known, became an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art in 2000. 

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

June 2, 2014

Dear Representatives Huffman and Lummis, Secretary Jewell and Director Jarvis:

We appreciate and applaud the leadership of the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service and the U.S. Congress in embracing and promoting a new era of partnerships to support America’s national park system. As we approach the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016, the spirit of philanthropy and partnership that has long been part of our national parks can be reinforced and strengthened. We are grateful for your commitment to that objective. 

We strongly support the call by Congress last June to work with the Administration to formulate and execute a bipartisan, dynamic and effective initiative to commemorate the national park centennial and prepare our national parks for their second century of service to the American people. We believe that H.R. 4614, the Park Partner Enhancement Act, is a key piece of what we hope will be a larger legislative initiative to invest in America’s national parks. Through the leadership of Representatives Huffman and Lummis, this bill will enhance the ability of the NPS to responsibly expand partnerships with nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to spur greater park philanthropy, volunteerism and interpretive and learning opportunities. We thank you for introducing this important legislation, and we strongly support its passage.

The Administration has equally embarked on a series of initiatives that recognize the value of partnerships to the future of the national parks. The Department of Interior’s next generation engagement strategy and the NPS A Call to Action are thoughtful roadmaps to strengthen public-nonprofit partnerships around clear, powerful goals that transcend our parks and public lands. Likewise, new National Park System Advisory Board committees are harnessing private sector expertise to offer counsel on centennial planning and to revisit NPS policies on donations and fundraising. These actions led by Secretary Jewell and Director Jarvis have had a profound and powerful impact on longstanding park partners who actively help to restore park resources, educate the next generation and encourage public lands service. We value the openness to collaboration and partnership inherent in these Administration initiatives.

National parks have benefited from philanthropy and partnerships with nonprofit organizations since before the National Park Service was established. From the donations of land that became Acadia and Grand Teton National Parks to the founding of cooperating associations and friends groups over 90 years ago, today’s national park system simply would not exist had it not been for the passion, commitment and support of private citizens. Last year alone, nonprofit park partners contributed over $150 million in funds and in-kind services along with 6.4 million hours of volunteer time to our parks. Because of your support of these enhancements and initiatives, our community will have new tools to achieve much more for the benefit of the National Park Service mission.

Serving our parks is a contribution to the nation that our board members, staff and volunteers treasure. It is an honor to work hand-in-hand with the outstanding members of the green and gray, and to know we have champions for our efforts in the hall of Congress. Thank you for your collective and collaborative leadership on behalf of America’s national parks.

 

Sincerely,

Accokeek Foundation ♦ Alaska Geographic ♦ American Littoral Society ♦ Association of Partners for Public Lands ♦ Badlands Natural History Association ♦ Big Bend Natural History Association ♦ Boston Harbor Island Alliance ♦ Bryce Canyon Natural History Association ♦ Buffalo National River Partners ♦ Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park ♦ Crater Lake Natural History Association ♦ Craters of the Moon Natural History Association ♦ Death Valley Natural History Association ♦ Denali Education Center ♦ Discover Your Northwest ♦ Eastern National ♦ Florida National Parks Association ♦ Friends of Acadia ♦ Friends of Big Bend National Park ♦ Friends of Cape Cod National Seashore ♦ Friends of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park ♦ Friends of Great Smoky Mountain National Park ♦ Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park ♦ Friends of Kennicott ♦ Friends of Minute Man National Park ♦ Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park ♦ Friends of Port Chicago National Memorial ♦
Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes ♦ Friends of the National Park for Green Spring ♦ Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau ♦ Friends of Virgin Islands National Park ♦ Gettysburg Foundation ♦ Glacier National Park Conservancy ♦ Glen Canyon Natural History Association ♦
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy ♦ Grand Canyon Association ♦ Grand Teton National Park Foundation ♦ Great Smoky Mountains Association ♦ Harpers Ferry Historical Association Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association ♦ Isle Royale & Keweenaw Parks Association ♦ Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy ♦ Jefferson National Parks Association ♦ Joshua Tree National Park Association ♦ Lewis & Clark National Park Association ♦ Mesa Verde Foundation ♦ Mesa Verde Museum Association ♦ Mississippi River Fund ♦ Mount Rushmore Society ♦ National Association for Interpretation ♦ National Park Trust ♦ NatureBridge ♦ North Cascades Institute ♦ Outside Las Vegas Foundation ♦ Overmountain Victory Trail Association ♦ Pacific Historic Parks ♦ Point Reyes National Seashore Association ♦ Rocky Mountain Conservancy ♦ Santa Monica Mountains Fund ♦ Sequoia Natural History Association ♦ Shenandoah National Park Association ♦ Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation ♦ Student Conservation Association ♦ Teton Science Schools ♦ Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation ♦ Trust for the National Mall ♦ Voyageurs National Park Association ♦ Washington’s National Park Fund ♦ Western National Parks Association ♦ Yellowstone Association ♦ Yosemite Conservancy ♦ Zion Natural History Association

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

May 15, 2014

Dear Secretary Jewell:

On behalf of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, we are writing in support of the National Park Service's request for funding to support the proposed sand replacement project at Jacob Riis Park, located within the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.

Given the existing USACE contract for sand placement along the adjacent parklands at Rockaway Beach which has commenced, the Conservancy supports the efforts of the National Park Service to extend this replenishment westward to include Riis Beach at the end of this project, taking advantage of the existing work schedule and contractor. Riis Beach was heavily impacted by 2012's Hurricane Sandy and returning the beach to its pre-Sandy condition, as the adjacent city beach will be, is essential to true recovery of the area. This restoration will require an estimated 200,000 cubic yards of sand. Riis Beach represents not only a major cultural asset for the National Park Service in the area, but also one of the most heavily visited sites within Gateway National Recreation Area. Given the Conservancy's mission of supporting the parklands in and around Jamaica Bay, increasing visitorship, preserving natural and cultural resources, and expanding economic benefits to local communities, we feel the replenishment of Riis Beach is a vital part of the overall post-Sandy restoration efforts for the park and the neighboring communities.

Based on the current schedule for sand replenishment elsewhere in the Rockaways, we anticipate that the contractor would be able to deliver the sand by August; this could be delivered to a specific area of the beach for distribution across the beach following the summer season so that the majority of the beach area can remain open. If funding cannot be found to modify the Army Corps contract for this window, however, another opportunity will not arise for more than three years, at which point Sandy recovery funds will no longer be available. We are strongly in support of completing the sand replenishment at Riis Beach as soon as possible, and request your help in securing the requested $5 million to realize this project.

This project would represent a small down payment on what is needed for shore protection for the community. The NYC Parks Department, together with the US Army Corps of Engineers, has invested in shoreline protection. The National Park Service must work in tandem with the Army Corps and NYC Parks for the protection of the community. This collaborative approach was envisioned by the 2012 Department of the Interior and New York City cooperative agreement. We look forward to working with you for the benefit of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks community.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas F. Secunda

Chairman, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

Posted
AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

August 12, 2013

CUNY Will Lead Intensive Research Program at New Institute; New Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy Established

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced progress on their cooperative management of 10,000 acres of federal and city-owned parks in and around Jamaica Bay – namely, the selection of a consortium led by the City University of New York to lead a new Science and Resilience Institute. The Institute will be a top-tier research center promoting an understanding of resilience in urban ecosystems and their adjacent communities through an intensive research program focused on the restoration of Jamaica Bay.  They also announced progress on several other initiatives outlined under the management agreement, reached in July of 2012 between the National Park Service and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, including the formation of a Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. The Mayor and Secretary Jewell made the announcement at Riis Landing on the Rockaway Peninsula and were also joined by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, CUNY Acting Chancellor William Kelly and Peter Madonia, COO of the Rockefeller Foundation.

“Jamaica Bay is one of the greatest natural treasures any city has within its borders, and our Administration is working hard to make the bay an even greater, stronger, and more resilient natural resource for decades to come,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The new consortium we’re announcing today is an all-star team of research institutions and non-profits who will do important work to protect and preserve urban ecosystems from development and from the effects of climate change.”

“In the City of New York, we have a powerful and dedicated partner to promote visitation, education programs, scientific research and opportunities for recreation in our urban parks,” said Jewell. “And now, in CUNY and their academic partners, we have a consortium of world-class institutions to advance our understanding of climate change and its impact on our natural systems. Working together, we will develop and coordinate approaches to coastal resiliency for Jamaica Bay that can serve as a model for communities around the world threatened by climate change.”

“Cutting-edge science is essential for understanding and managing the precious resources of the Jamaica Bay ecosystem and surrounding communities,” Director Jarvis said. “The Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay – with its stellar consortium of the region’s top-flight scientific institutions – will advance the role of science in managing resources and building regional resilience to future storms. And it is a model of how local scientific expertise can be marshaled to solve big problems, and to provide managers – like those of us in the National Park Service – with usable knowledge.”

“Since the signing of last year’s historic cooperative management agreement, NYC Parks has been proud to partner with the National Park Service to further our vision for a revitalized Jamaica Bay and Rockaway Parks,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White.  “Even before Hurricane Sandy devastated our region, plans were in place to further resiliency efforts here at America’s great urban park.  The new Science and Resilience Institute, with its CUNY-led consortium, will be a model for cutting-edge research.  The creation of a beach grass nursery, establishment of a community partnership, presence of hard-working Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Restoration Corps employees, and addition of new concessions, will not only help Jamaica Bay and Rockaway Parks recover from Sandy but also establish it as a premier destination for New Yorkers and visitors.”  

“Today’s announcements are directly in line with several of the principles at the heart of the Task Force’s work, including the emphasis on resilience, the need for a regional approach to rebuilding and consistent engagement with academic, non-profit and philanthropic organizations,” said Secretary Donovan. “These innovative steps will serve as models for communities across the region and the country as they prepare for impacts of climate change and help them build in a way that makes them stronger, more economically competitive and better able to withstand future storms.”

“CUNY is proud to lead a consortium of world-class institutions in the new Science and Resilience Institute,” CUNY Interim Chancellor William P. Kelly said. “Together with our distinguished partners, we will engage in a groundbreaking effort to revitalize the Jamaica Bay ecosystem. This will include extensive research to enhance our understanding of the ecosystem and its resilience, and the coordination and implementation of a comprehensive revitalization and restoration program for Jamaica Bay and the entire watershed.”

“The Jamaica Bay Science and Resilience Institute will play a central role in advancing many of the 257 initiatives laid out in A Stronger, More Resilient New York, the City’s comprehensive climate change resiliency plan, which the Mayor released in June,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Director of Resiliency for the City of New York. “The City's resiliency plan was developed based on the best available scientific knowledge and research. I look forward to collaborating with both global and local experts as we build on that foundation of science to protect New Yorkers and make the City a more sustainable place to live.”

The new Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay establishes a top tier research center to promote the understanding of resilience in the urban ecosystem and adjacent communities. The Institute will develop a framework and programs in partnership with academic institutions, non-profits, the community and the many other entities and public agencies actively engaged in research in and around Jamaica Bay including NYC Parks, the National Park Service the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The consortium, which is under development and led by the City University of New York, includes many of the area’s most robust research universities as well as key local institutions: Columbia University’s Earth Institute and its Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Cornell University, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York Sea Grant, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

To help realize the City and NPS’s vision for a revitalized, restored Jamaica Bay, the Institute will integrate cutting-edge research efforts from across the natural and social sciences; draw upon climate science, engineering, and sustainability and resilience studies to create a comprehensive program of research, monitoring and education; as well as outreach. The Institute, which will host visiting scientists, provide lab facilities for students and researchers and convene events to share and disseminate research findings, will be formally established by the fall of this year with a temporary space on the campus of Brooklyn College. The Institute’s first undertaking will be the ‘Urban Resilience in an Era of Climate Change: Global Input for Local Solutions’ Symposium October 17-18.  The symposium will bring global and local expertise together to examine what urban resilience means and ways to achieve it. 

The consortium was selected after a Request for Expressions of Interest was issued last year and respondents were evaluated with assistance from the Rockefeller Foundation. This collection of world-class institutions was selected based on the strong and collaborative framework provided in their proposal, the existing expertise of all partners on a variety of ecological and social issues faced by the Jamaica Bay ecosystem and surrounding communities, and the overall capacity of the consortium to successfully coordinate a comprehensive research program throughout the watershed.  The proposal of the CUNY-led consortium included a number of details that aligned with the City and NPS vision for a revitalized, restored Jamaica Bay, including the integration of cutting-edge research efforts from across the natural and social sciences, drawing upon climate science, engineering, and sustainability and resilience studies to create a comprehensive program of research, monitoring, education, and outreach.

“Today is a historic day for New York City, as it stands poised to become a leading voice in the study and practice of urban resilience throughout the world,” said Peter Madonia, Chief Operating Officer, The Rockefeller Foundation.  “While we can’t say when or where the next crisis will hit, whether it’s another superstorm on the east coast, or drought in Africa, we know it will come and that cities can mitigate the impact and enable a faster recovery from these events through increased resilience. The Rockefeller Foundation is dedicated to building resilience throughout the world so cities can not only survive major disruptions, but thrive. The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to have supported the creation of the Science and Resilience Institute in Jamaica Bay from its inception, and believe it will be a model for similar resilience centers around the world.”

Additionally, a public-private partnership has been established to raise funds for the planning and development of the Jamaica Bay-area parklands and waters.  The new Jamaica Bay – Rockaway Parks Conservancy is chaired by longtime National Park Service philanthropist Tom Secunda, and its initial Board includes representatives from many of the City’s most respected not-for-profit organizations and institutions including Adrian Benepe of the Trust for Public Land.

Even as the City and NPS look to the future, the benefits of this partnership at Jamaica Bay and in the surrounding areas can already be seen.  For example, this year the NYC Parks and the NPS together are fielding nearly 300 restoration corps members by combining resources and taking advantage of each agency’s hiring practices. The 200 members of the Jamaica Bay/Rockaway Parks Restoration Corps are complemented by approximately 100 recruits of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation and Resiliency Corps, managed by the Student Conservation Association.  The combined restoration corps work throughout City and NPS  properties helping the region recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy by have restoring natural areas, planting Spartina grasses and removing debris. Additional benefits of the partnership are evident today in new resources and amenities for visitors such as food trucks, bicycling and boating rentals, and expanded public hiking and biking programs across the combined parklands. This successful first season will pave the way for additional ways to improve the visitor experience in the years to come. 

 

The Mayor and Secretary also announced plans for a beach grass nursery at Floyd Bennett Field.  This pilot program, with philanthropic support raised by the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, will collect native seeds from Jamaica Bay and Rockaway and create a nursery to grow beach grass. The grass production would support efforts for coastline restoration in the region and citywide.

In June, Mayor Bloomberg announced “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” our plan to rebuild communities and city infrastructure in a more resilient way in the face of threats from future storms. Fulfilling one of the goals in this plan, today kicking off phase two of beach and boardwalk restoration. Restoring parks and beaches is not only critical to resiliency but also part of our larger sustainability efforts citywide as part of PlanNYC.

Additional partnership opportunities for the national and city parks surrounding Jamaica Bay are expected to come out of the National Park Service’s new General Management Plan for Gateway National Recreation Area.  The draft plan is available for public comment through Oct. 2, 2013, and a series of open houses are scheduled for those interested in learning more about the proposed alternatives. The public is invited to provide comments electronically at the NPS public comment website. Feedback from the public will inform the finalized General Management Plan that will be issued later this year.

 

Contact: Marc La Vorgna/Julie Wood 
Phone Number: 212-788-2958

Contact: Arthur Pincus/Phil Abramson (NYC Parks) 
Phone Number: 212-360-1311

Contact: Jessica Kershaw (DOI) 
Phone Number: 202-208-6416

Contact: Mindi Rambo (National Park Service) 
Phone Number: 212-668-2208

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AuthorJamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy