Queens BP Announces Urban Sustainability Group

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. announces Operation Urban Sustainability on Earth Day. Image credit: Queens Borough President’s Office/Twitter.

On April 22, 2022, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. announced the start of Operation Urban Sustainability, a group that will consist of borough and city leaders in sustainability and resiliency who will work together to guide environmental initiatives in Queens. In recent years, Queens has seen devastating flooding, including last year’s Hurricane Ida, where dangerous flash flooding killed thirteen people, mostly in Queens. The announcement is part of a growing response on a borough and citywide level to address environmental concerns and protect New Yorkers. 

The group will meet monthly starting in May, and will begin with a comprehensive assessment of the borough’s sustainability issues and possible solutions to advance resilience and environmental equity. The group will be tasked with creating an annual report to guide the sustainability and resiliency efforts of the Queens Borough President’s office, including topics like composting, urban agriculture, education, environmental justice, nature and ecosystems, flood prevention, transportation and walkability.

Members of the group will serve for one-year terms, and members will be accepted continually. As of now, the current members include: 

Alley Pond Environmental Center

Costa Constantinides, former New York City Council Member

Guardians of Flushing Bay

Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Newtown Creek Alliance

NYC Department of Environmental Protection (ex-officio)

PopUP Forest

Queens Climate Project

Queens College

Queens County Farm Museum

Queens Neighborhood Housing Services

Queens Solid Waste Advisory Board

Sierra Club

Surfrider Foundation NYC

Transportation Alternatives

Waterfront Alliance

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Woodside on the Move

Borough President Richards stated, “Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Ida were two of the most severe and deadly examples of extreme weather Queens has ever experienced, but what’s just as dangerous is the reluctance to see sustainability in a holistic manner. With Operation Urban Sustainability, we are committed to developing a wide-ranging roadmap toward a more livable, resilient borough for all our families. From expanding urban agriculture to promoting more open streets to transforming Rikers Island into a renewable energy hub and beyond, I look forward to the critical work this group will perform in the months ahead.”

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



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