Many New Yorkers are not aware that within the confines of the five boroughs are open water, salt marshes, grasslands, coastal woodlands, maritime shrublands and freshwater wetlands. At least 90 fish species, 325 species of birds and many reptiles, amphibians and small mammals share portions of Brooklyn and Queens with human residents.
Surrounded by intensive residential, commercial, and industrial development, Jamaica Bay receives pollution from both municipal waste water discharge from three plants, combined sewer overflows, and untreated stormwater runoff from area roads and from the runways at John F. Kennedy Airport which is contaminated with de-icing chemicals.
To address these issues, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, DEP, has just released a set of strategies to restore and maintain the water quality and ecological integrity of Jamaica Bay.
The plan is structured around six major categories - water quality, restoration of the ecology, stormwater management, public education and outreach, public use, and implementation and coordination.