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This is What’s Happening with Mau Mau

Whats happening with Mau-Mau you ask? as previously reported it is being cleared out by heavy equipment but there is more.

Let’s start this off by saying there are two separate projects that have to do with Mau-Mau. One is a New York City Parks project mandated by the DEC and the other is a Gateway National Park project (federal). I have posted about the Gateway project in the past so this post will only have to do with the New York City Parks Project.

The goal of this project is to create a grassland habitat for about 4 or 5 species of birds that were forced out with the Erksine Street Shopping Center. It was part of the agreement back in 1994 that another habitat would be created on White Island so the birds would be able to nest in the area. $3 million dollars was allocated for White Island according to that plan. This is a $15 million dollar project and he funds came from the mayor.

Around last September work began on the island. One of the first things Parks started to do was spray the phragmites, which are a very aggressive plant that cover most of the island. They sprayed the phragmites with roundup to kill them. The spraying was done in accordance with DEC laws, with no aerial spraying, wind was less than 5 mph, and there would be no rain for a few days. Roundup is the weed killer you can buy in home depot, and is “the safest of the herbicides around tidal wetlands”. Although it would of been nice for Parks to let us know they were spraying, they didn’t have too.

The clearing of the island, which is currently underway, allows a complete survey to accurately map out the island. They need to map the island for a few reasons. First, they need an accurate topography of the island because they will be capping the island with about 120 thousand yards or about 2 to 3 feet of sand, and they need to know how much sand they need. Secondly, they need a map!

As part of the reconstruction project there will be a pontoon bridge built alongside the existing bridge on the Golf Course side of Mau-Mau. They need a bridge to bring the sand via trucks on the island. After they cap the island the island will be “planted” to keep the sand from going into the creek.

The other part of the plan is to stabilize the island. Currently there is no solution on how to go about stabilizing the island. The DEC has to decide after the survey what materials will be used to stabilize the island.  There are a few ideas floating around but it will not be the existing sandbags that are killing horseshoe crabs.

At this time no decision has been made on whether to allow or disallow access to the island. More than likely signs will be posted on the island. However, it would be hard to enforce and the land from the high tide line to the low tide line are public property.

There is a “if you build it they will come” mentality and there are no guarantees that the birds they want will come.

To add: There will be no dredging with this project. There will be no removal of the existing bridge with this project, although they will “look at it in the scope of this project” meaning there are no promises.

I hope I didn’t miss anything! Comment with what I missed!

10 comments to This is What’s Happening with Mau Mau

  • Mrs Garson

    Wow! Good Job …Thanks :)

  • Anon-Anon

    Very informative and much of which I wasn’t aware of. Good reporting, thanks.

  • anonymous

    Very interesting, I hope the birds will come.

  • Great work, thank you getting this information out there.

  • Anonymous

    Great to hear that there will not be any dredging going on. Our water is very important and is cleaner than I have ever seen it. Dredging would have killed alot of offspring from this years breading. Great thread

  • Jim D

    They will be spraying again this September with round-up to complete the process of eliminating the phragmites and also they will be removing trees for surveying. The Parks has assured us that they will notify us this time. Once this operation is completed, the island will then be surveyed and mapped. The Parks has estimated the engineering and bidding process will begin before the end of this year (November), which means if all goes as planned, work to re-build the island will begin this coming spring. Our community leaders will be meeting with the Parks and DEC again in the coming weeks, most likely in early September, hopefully before the next phase of spraying begins and before the boat races.

  • anonymous

    Any chance we can move the skate park there?

  • jack barbosa

    let as work.are boat was stolen fron the island last monbay.unfortanaly we can t work in the island without a boat.unfortanaly we have weird people out there.19 ft carolana shiff,lit me know if you know information about the boat.thanks jack

  • anonymous

    this is why we need you so badly . Thanks

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