Bronx River, Bronx River Ave. bet. Lafayette Ave., Surf Dr.
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The Daily Plant : Thursday, February 18, 2010
Restoration Project Begun at Soundview Park
This winter, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, (USACE-NYD) successfully executed a Project Partnership Agreement to begin the final design and construction phase of the Soundview Park Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project located along the Bronx River. The Project will restore approximately three acres of degraded shoreline and upland fill landscape in the southern section of Soundview Park into valuable salt marsh wetland and coastal maritime grassland habitats. The agreement outlines the cost sharing requirements for the project, with 35 percent of the funds being provided by Parks and 65 percent coming from the USACE. This project milestone was announced by the USACE in a January 25, 2010 news release. The project start date is tentatively set for November 2010 and it will take approximately one year to complete. The project is expected to cost $6.3 million.
Called the “Gateway to the Bronx River,” Soundview Park is a 205 acre park situated where the Bronx River opens into the East River. When the City of New York acquired the original 93 acres of land for this park in 1937, the entire area was composed of marshland and open water. Like most locations within the estuary portion of the Bronx River, Soundview Park was once a vast expanse of salt marsh habitat and tidal creeks. Today, due to fill and development throughout the early and mid 20th century, this important coastal wetland ecosystem in the south Bronx has been lost.
Under the leadership of the Parks Department’s Natural Resources Group (NRG), this project will help to restore a small portion of the ecological, physical, and biogeochemical functions that have been lost in the Bronx River estuary. Fill will be excavated down to tidal elevations, covered with clean soil, and planted with the low marsh plant salt marsh cord grass (Spartina alterniflora). The new adjacent high marsh and upland plants will include salt meadow hay, groundsel bush, and marsh elder. The restored tidal marsh system will ultimately attract wildlife to the area, such as wading birds, (egrets, herons, and ibis), fish (Atlantic silversides, mummichugs, and striped bass), crustaceans (blue crab and fiddler crabs), and mollusks (oyster and ribbed mussel). In addition, local Bronx residents will be able to enjoy seeing more birdlife and a lush wetland from several viewing points surrounding the project area, and the community will gain more outreach and environmental education opportunities. In restoring the salt marsh habitat and coastal maritime upland communities within the southern portion of the park, this project will also achieve one of the many objectives proposed in Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC Regional Park Master Plan for Soundview Park.
Written by Victoria Ruzicka, NRG
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”
George Washington Carver
(1864 – 1943)
Directions to Soundview Park
- Saving Soundview Cottonwoods To Restore The Bronx River Forest
- Commissioners Corner
- Ground Broken on Soundview PlaNYC Project
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