DEP Announces Completion of Green Infrastructure Changes Around Jamaica Bay

Green medians help divert stormwater from sewer systems to reduce flooding conditions and prevent sewer overflows. Image Credit: NYC DEP.

On September 6, 2023, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the completion of a project to install new green infrastructure to help absorb stormwater and reduce chronic flooding to help Jamaica Bay. 

The work took place along Beach 67th Street between Almeda and Thursby Avenues in Arverne. The three new green medians feature native plants and subsurface stormwater storage to help maximize the stormwater that can be absorbed. The storage vaults were installed five feet below the surface and are covered with stones and engineered soil. The medians are expected to absorb 90,000 gallons of stormwater per year. 

The project involved removing old median curbs, plantings, trees and trash. Native plants, shrubs, ornamental grasses and perennial wildflowers were added. Pedestrian ramp improvements were also completed, and the streets were repaved to properly pitch them. The curb features new openings to allow stormwater to drain. 

The project is part of larger agency efforts to install green infrastructure citywide; over the last several years, over 12,000 green infrastructure installations have helped transform how the city manages stormwater. Some of these infrastructure projects include green roofs, permeable pavers, concrete and asphalt, rain gardens, subsurface detention and green medians. This infrastructure intercepts stormwater before it can reach sewer systems, helping those sewer systems from overflowing into local waterways. 

DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala stated, “Transforming these medians into working green infrastructure that absorbs stormwater helps to reduce any flooding along Beach 67th Street while also protecting nearby Jamaica Bay. In just the last several years we have constructed more than 12,000 similar installations that absorb stormwater and beautify neighborhoods across the city. We will continue to aggressively expand this critical work that is making our city more resilient to the changing climate.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. stated, “As the peak of hurricane season nears, these new green infrastructure sponges in Arverne are a welcome addition to the Rockaway community, which we know is extremely prone to strong storms and coastal flooding. Every new median helps as we leave no stone unturned to mitigate flooding and protect our shoreline communities. Thank you to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection for its partnership to make Queens a more sustainable, resilient borough.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


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