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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
No. 73
www.nyc.gov/parks

NYC PARKS CUTS RIBBON ON $14 MILLION SUNSET COVE SALT MARSH RESTORATION



NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined Director of the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency Jainey Bavishi, State Senator Joe Addabbo, Assembly Member Stacy Pheffer Amato, Community Board 14 District Manager Jon Gaska, Executive Director of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy Alex Zablocki, and President of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers Dan Mundy to cut the ribbon on a $14 million ecological restoration of Sunset Cove in Broad Channel, Queens, and officially open the new park. The project brings new open space to Broad Channel that will also help protect the community from floodwaters and improve the health of Jamaica Bay.

“After being closed for a decade, Sunset Cove has been brought back to life!” said Commissioner Silver. “This park is so important because it provides storm protection, and improves the health of our waterways. It’s a park where people can come to take in the waterfront views, and to learn more about Jamaica Bay, one of the wildest and most natural areas in our city.”

“Restoring ecosystems is an important tool in our resiliency toolbox,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency. “This project transformed an abandoned and polluted marina into a vibrant waterfront park that uses natural features to protect against flooding.”

“It was amazing to see the major changes made to Sunset Cove as we ushered in a new day for the Broad Channel community,” State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said. “What was once a blight area riddled with abandoned boats is now a beautiful, thriving natural space. However, there is still much work to be done on Sunset Cove, and I look forward to being a part of its Phase 2 environmental and educational improvements. I would like to thank all the various governmental agencies and individuals who helped make this happen, especially protectors of Jamaica Bay, like the Mundys and Don Riepe, for their dedication to the bay and community.”

"Sunset Cove is such an absolutely incredible victory for this community. There’s a balance, a true relationship, between the people of Jamaica Bay and the Bay itself. This community resource will not only show off the natural beauty of our water and its ecosystem, but will create the next generation of environmentalists to preserve and protect it," Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Broad Channel) said. "Thanks to everyone who’s been working so hard to make the Cove a reality especially Commissioner Silver, NYC Parks, NYS DEC, Dan Mundy Jr., and the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers. Looking forward to Phase II!"

“The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers are excited to see the new Sunset Cove Park officially open to the public. This restored natural area will allow visitors to experience the beauty of Jamaica Bay while providing critical ecological functions such as cleaning the waters of the bay, creating critical habitat for the bays wildlife and sequestering carbon to help with climate change,” said Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers President Dan Mundy. “We commend NYC Parks for their great work in producing this vision that the community has had for this area and we welcome residents from all neighborhoods to come down and enjoy this great resource.”

Sunset Cove Park is a 12.57-acre site located on a former abandoned and derelict marina in Broad Channel, Queens. Work to restore and remediate this site included:
• removal of 1,000 cubic yards of debris and nearly 30,000 cubic yards of hazardous and contaminated soil;
• restoration of 4.5 acres of salt marsh and 7 acres of maritime upland;
• construction of a perimeter berm and walking trail;
• installation of 16,000 tons of clean sand;
• planting of 200,000 new plugs to reestablish the salt marsh.

NYC Parks partnered with the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy and the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers to recruit volunteers to help populate this site with plantings. Of the 200,000 plugs planted, more than 73,000 were installed by volunteers. The restored salt marsh will now help to improve water quality in Jamaica Bay and reduce wave and wind impacts during storms, and provide a rich wildlife habitats.reduce erosion, and provide a rich wildlife habitats.

The design for Sunset Cove was completed in May 2016. Following the design, the project received bids that were nearly double the available budget, effectively stalling progress. In October 2017, Mayor de Blasio allocated $7 million to match an existing $7 million from a Department of Interior – National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant and DEC Mitigation funding, allowing the project to get back on track. Construction began in spring 2018 and completed in June 2019.

A second phase of construction for Sunset Cove will build a boardwalk to provide shoreline access over the restored salt marsh, as well as a seasonal dock and oyster garden which will serve as a venue for waterfront educational activities. Construction is planned to begin in 2021.

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