US Army Corps of Engineers
New York District

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FACT SHEET-Flushing Bay & Creek, Borough of Queens, New York

Ecosystem Restoration Study

Published Jan. 7, 2013

DESCRIPTION: The Hudson Raritan Estuary (HRE) is within the boundaries of the Port District of New York and New Jersey, and is situated within a 25-mile radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The HRE study area includes 8 Planning Regions: 1) Jamaica Bay; 2) Lower Bay; 3) Lower Raritan River; 4) Arthur Kill/Kill Van Kull; 5) Newark Bay, Hackensack River and Passaic River; 6) Lower Hudson River; 7) Harlem River, East River, and Western Long Island Sound; and 8) Upper Bay. 

The study purpose is to identify and document water resource related problems, existing conditions and factors contributing to environmental degradation within the estuary in order to develop potential solutions aimed at ecosystem restoration. The overall objective of the HRE is to restore ecological function and diversity that have been lost or degraded as a result of human activities.  Implementation of the HRE Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study’s recommendations will enable the USACE, its non-Federal cost-sharing sponsors, and other regional stakeholders to restore and protect lost or degraded aquatic, wetland and terrestrial habitats within the HRE study area. These activities will be accomplished by implementing various site-specific ecosystem restoration projects formulated within the context of an overall strategic plan.

The USACE and multiple non-federal sponsors commenced six (6) concurrent ecosystem restoration feasibility studies in the 1990s and early 2000s that focused on the restoration of different areas of the HRE.  In an effort to streamline parallel efforts, and maximize efficiencies, resources and benefits, the feasibility studies were integrated into the HRE Feasibility Study effort.  The HRE Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment (FR/EA) fulfills the authorizations of all six (6) studies.

 

AUTHORIZATIONS:

HRE, HRE-Lower Passaic River, and HRE-Hackensack Meadowlands- House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Resolution dated April 15, 1999, Docket Number 2596.

Flushing Bay and Creek- Congress Resolution dated September 28, 1994, Docket Number 2442.

Bronx River Basin-U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Resolution dated March 24, 1998, Docket Number 2551

Jamaica Bay, Marine Park, Plumb Beach- Committee on Public Works and Transportation of the United States House of Representatives Resolution dated August 1, 1990. 

 

STATUS: The USACE Reconnaissance Phase for HRE commenced in January 2000 and a Section 905(b) WRDA 86 Analysis was approved in June 2000. The Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreements (FCSA) were executed as follows with the following local sponsors:

 

Feasibility Study

FCSA Execution

Study Sponsor

Current Study Cost

HRE

July 2001

PANYNJ

Total: $19,728,187

Federal: $9,864,093

Non-Federal: $9,864,093

HRE-Lower Passaic River*

June 2003

NJDOT

Total: $9,000,000

Federal: $4,500,000

Non-Federal: $4,500,000

HRE-Hackensack Meadowlands

April 2003

New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (formerly Hackensack Meadowlands Commission)

Total: $5,392,000

Federal: $2,696,000

Non-Federal: $2,696,000

Flushing Creek and Bay

September 1999

NYCDEP and PANYNJ

Total:$2,876,000

Federal: $1,438,000

Non-Federal: $1,438,000

Bronx River Basin

November 2003

NYCDEP and Westchester

County

Total: 4,489,996

Federal: $2,2044,998

Non-Federal:

Westchester- $864,152

NYCDEP- $1,380,846

Jamaica Bay, Marine Park and Plumb Beach

February 1996

NYCDEP

Total:$4,810,622

Federal: $ 2,405,311

Non-Federal: $2,405,311

*Note: The HRE-Lower Passaic River Feasibility Study was conducted in partnership with USEPA, NOAA, USFWS and the State of New Jersey to develop a comprehensive solution for restoration and remediation (in coordination with the Superfund Program). The USEPA and USACE are Co-Leads of the Lower Passaic River Urban Waters Federal Partnership.

 

As a first step of the HRE Feasibility Study, the USACE identified a need for a strategic plan.  With participation of the regional stakeholders, the USACE and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey developed a Comprehensive Restoration Plan (CRP) that now serves as the master plan and blueprint for future restoration within the HRE region.  The CRP provides the framework for an estuary-wide ecological restoration program by utilizing restoration targets -Target Ecosystem Characteristics (TECs) established through a collaborative effort among the region’s stakeholders in 2005 through 2007.  The CRP Program goal is to develop a mosaic of habitats that provide society with renewed and increased benefits from the estuary environment. Each TEC is an important ecosystem property or feature that is of ecological and/or societal value including restoration of coastal wetlands, shellfish/oyster reefs, eelgrass beds, waterbird islands, public access, maritime forest, tributary connections, shorelines and shallow habitat, fish crab and lobster habitat, reduction of contaminated sediments and improvement of enclosed and confined waters.  The CRP provides a strategic plan to achieve the TEC goals, identify potential restoration opportunities and mechanisms for implementation. The Draft CRP was released in April 2009 and was adopted by the New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (HEP) as the path forward for restoration in the future. Following intensive public outreach, CRP Version 1.0 was released in June 2016.

The HRE Feasibility Study recommended specific restoration projects throughout the HRE Study Area that advance the CRP goals and provide solutions for water resource problems.   Up to 33 projects were recommended for near-term construction, along with future feasibility study spin-offs (per Civil Works Transformation – Planning Modernization).  Recommendations from all six Feasibility Studies were incorporated into the HRE Draft Integrated FR/EA that was released in February 2017.

Feasibility activities included the evaluation of a subset of priority CRP sites including ecological functional assessments, preparation of restoration alternatives, engineering designs and cost estimates, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Assessments and Cost Effectiveness/Incremental Cost Analysis (CE/ICA) for each site.  In addition, other restoration opportunities outlined in the CRP were recommended for further feasibility study investigation which would require subsequent Congressional construction authorization.  A total of 33 sites were recommended as the Tentatively Selected Plan in the Draft Integrated FR/EA (See Table below).

The Tentatively Selected Plan Milestone was accomplished in August 2016 and the Draft Interim FR/EA was released for public review in February 2017 (http://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/Environmental-Restoration/Hudson-Raritan-Estuary/).   The District had coordinated with the Vertical Team to address policy comments and completed additional tasks to confirm the TSP and ensure policy compliance (tasks included update of costs, ecological benefits, relative sea level change analysis and Planning Region CE/ICA evaluations).  Based on the completion of these tasks, sites have been removed from the TSP (shown in table below) and a total of 22 sites were recommended and approved for final feasibility analysis at the Agency Decision Milestone (ADM) September 5, 2018.  A final report is planned for September 2019 and Chief’s Report in January 2020.

 

Restoration Sites Included in the “Recommended Plan” and Prior Sites Removed Previously Included in the Tentatively Selected Plan (February 2017)

*Note: Sites crossed out were removed from Recommended Plan based on tasks conducted prior to the ADM.

 

Jamaica Bay Planning Region

Oyster Reefs

Perimeter

Marsh Islands

• Fresh Creek

• Hawtree Point

• Dubos Point

• Brant Point

• Bayswater Point State Park

• Dead Horse Bay

• Elders Center

• Duck Point

• Pumpkin Patch East

• Pumpkin Patch West

• Stoney Creek

• Jamaica Bay, Head of Bay

• Soundview Park

• Bush Terminal

• Governors Island

• Naval Station Earle

Hackensack-Passaic-Newark Bay Planning Region

East River, Harlem River, Western Long Island Sound Planning Region

• Meadowlark Marsh

• Metromedia Tract

• Essex County Branch Brook Park

• Dundee Island Park

• Clifton Dundee Canal

• Oak Island Yards

• Kearny Point

• Flushing Creek

• Stone Mill Dam

• Bronx Zoo and Dam

• Shoelace Park

• Muskrat Cove

• River Park/West Farm Rapids Park

• Bronxville Lake

• Crestwood Lake

• Garth Woods/ Harney Road

• Westchester County Center

 

CONTACT:

Ms. Lisa Baron, Project Manager

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District

Programs and Project Management Division, Civil Works Programs Branch

Phone: (917) 790-8306

E-mail: lisa.a.baron@usace.army.mil

 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS:

                     

New Jersey

NJ-05

NJ-06

NJ-07

NJ-08

NJ-09

NJ-10

NJ-11

NJ-12

New York

NY-02

NY-03

NY-04

NY-05

NY-06

NY-07

NY-08

NY-09

NY-10

NY-11

NY-12

NY-13

NY-14

NY-15

NY-16

NY-17

 

Current as of March 2019