Lets backtrack a little bit with this project and clarify that are two separate projects with White Island Mau-Mau area going on right now. One is the White Island project which is a New York City Parks project mandated by the DEC and the other is a Army Core project to rebuild the marsh land. The army core project is behind the nature center and the White Island project is what we are going to be talking about.
The goal of the White island 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 that were displaced would be able to nest somewhere. $3 million dollars was allocated for White Island according to that plan. Overall ,this is a $15 million dollar project.
Here is what has already happened in Phase I
- They have already removed the phragmites with the weed killer roundup.
- They have clearing of the island of all trees, which was for an accurate survey, as well as to make room for the sand they brought in.
- They have brought in 150,000 cubic yards of sand, which is waiting to be spread out onto the island.
- The sand was placed into containment zones, and not dumped too high so the wind would not blow the sand into the creek.
- The footprint of the island has not been increased.
What still has to happen aka Phase II
They still have to bring in two ton cement stones called “Armor Stone” to place on the steeper parts of the island to contain the island. They also have to bring in environmentally friendly Articulated Concrete Blocks and Cellular Confinement Systems to help with earth control and allow vegetation to grow on top iof it.
Heres the real story.
This is a project that NYC Park is “Duty Bound” to complete with final approval by DEC. The community is pushing for the bridge, boat debris & major debris cleanup, as well as the shore sand to be cleaned. Although the horizontal pieces of the bridge and major debris are added to the project, it does not seem like there is a full commitment from parks or DEC to get this done how the community wants it. Cleaning the White Island shore is a different story. Currently it is not part of the project and will most likely have to be a seperate project. At one point parks said that to use marine engineers to clean said would be a waste of resources, volunteers would be better off cleaning the sand. The sand which is littered with glass, floating garbage, and also garbage from that leaked out of the island is a legit problem that th community wants to see addresses.
Side note: I won’t forget than the fact that I was told by Assemblyman Alan Maisel (again) not to attend the meeting because people would walk out, and I won’t forget the fact that I was told not to take pictures or record audio/video. You can safely say that I did whatever anyone else did in the room, which was take notes.