Friends of Brook Park, a South Bronx based environmental organization working on water restoration projects, responds to DEP’s report release.

On Tuesday, September 28, 2010, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a proposed “NYC Green Infrastructure Plan” to integrate Green Infrastructure into the city’s efforts to combat Combined Sewer Overflow. Friends of Brook Park welcomes the City’s proposals and looks forward to collaborating with DEP to access resources for local, small scale replicable projects to managing stormwater that achieves fishable/swimmable conditions in our waterways and provides the many well- documented benefits of Green Infrastructure in our Environmental Justice community.Real Estate Map A - Lower Mill Brook 1868-85

Friends of Brook Park also echoes the S.W.I.M. Coalition call for a meaningful public participation process that brings communities into the decision-making process and eventual stewardship of stormwater management work throughout the city.

Large volumes of stormwater inundate New York City sewers each time it rains, causing 27 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted stormwater to be discharged each year into local waterways – where New Yorkers live, work and recreate – through Combined Sewer Overflows. Capturing stormwater on land can prevent sewage and toxins from polluting our waterways, while creating multiple benefits for upland neighborhoods. Historic Map

Friends of Brook Park is working to daylight and restore an underground brook in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx. The study phase of this exciting effort is funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) South Bronx Waterfront Partnership funded by Congressman José E. Serrano and managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Friends of Brook Park is actively seeking implementation funding and welcomes your ideas and attention.

Besides revealing the buried waterway’s historic course of flow, the project will access rainwater from adjacent housing developments and recover up to 20,000 gallons from a one inch storm.

Other partners with Friends of Brook Park include the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, The Gaia Institute and WSP Sells. The Gaia Institute’s work couples ecological engineering and restoration with the integration of human communities in natural systems. For more information: http://www.gaiainstituteny.org
WSP SELLS is one of the top U.S. transportation engineering firms, providing award winning services on all sizes of bridge, highway and infrastructure projects. For more information: http://www.wspgroup.com

Widespread on-land stormwater management – Green Infrastructure – can play a central role in achieving the Clean Water Act standards for safe swimming and fishing in New York City waterways, while meeting local sustainability goals of creating more green open space, cooling and cleaning the air we breathe, reducing our energy costs, generating accessible green jobs and providing educational opportunities. To achieve this, multiple agencies and institutions, both public and private, must collaborate toward this end and dedicate funding and other resources to locally led project’s like the Friends of Brook Park Brook restoration project.
Con Ed Utilities, Bronx Kill
For more information on the brook project, with pictures and historic maps: http://www.friendsofbrookpark.org/brook-park/brook-daylighting/

For more information on S.W.I.M. Coalition, the voice of over 60 organizations committed to achieving swimmable/fishable water quality in NYC: www.swimmablenyc.info ###