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This is What is Happening With White Island Now


NYC Parks design is final and has been approved by DEC.

Now beginning in June they will start the actual construction which will take 18 months, completed around fall 2012

Currently there is about  150K cubic yards of sand, which is stockpiled in three locations at the top of the island. Once the contractor spreads the sand around and installs the shoreline elements, the island will be substantially stabilized from its current condition. No new sand is needed for the island. However, they will bringing in additional sand to stabilize the shore.

Parks will also be removing:

  • The horizontal hazards from the old bridge to the island
  • Any large debris such as boat shells and boat engines

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 :

  • They have already removed the phragmites  above the 10 foot contour of the island.
  • 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.


14 comments to This is What is Happening With White Island Now

  • Anonymous

    Why couldn’t this be brought to the GB community through the GBPOA?

  • Anonymous

    Why wouldn’t they dredge up the sand that was on the island and has filled in the creek instead of bringing in new sand? It’s not like it’s anymore contaminated than what’s still on the island.

    • Irish Kevin

      Think about this for a moment. They don’t want to disturb all the toxic crap thats under the sand.White Island AKA Mow Mow ,Garbage Island has more toxins under the sand than most Chemical Plants. Back in the late Fifties and Mid Sixties,There were 55 Gal drums of stuff who knows what buried there,a guy told me when he walked on top of the island he burned his feet on some chemical that was dumped there.I dread to think if they dug down on or near the Island what they might uncover.Maybe even Jimmy Hoffa,who knows.

      • GerritsenBeach.net


        The island and surrounding water was tested extensively at the request of the community. The thought was with the new weight of the sand would push out whatever was underneath. This was tested and found negligible amounts. Great question!

  • backweeds

    soo r we going to lose acess to back of the creek (boating ,jet skiing,having fun?

  • hook

    if there making it a place for birds ,,why would they remove ALL THE TREES,

  • Anonymous

    Well the types of birds that would nest would nest within the tall grass not trees. While theyre at it tehy should clean up and put some more sand around the beach surounding gerritsen. I love it back there but there is enough glass, rusted cars, and garbage to make walking on the beach not so fun

  • Irish Kevin

    A few years back my daughter who at the time was taking pre med took samples of the water back by the old bridge on the east side of the island. The interesting thing was all the chemicals that showed up as well as some things that were not identified. We never found out what everything was.

  • sorry for you all

    Just how crazy is this city…In 1958-59 they destroyed the wetlands by pumping sand, to form the Mau-Mau garbage dump…Then years later they destroyed the wetlands at Erskin St….Now they spend millions more to restore, what they destroyed at Mau-Mau 50 years ago. To replace what was destroyed at Erskin St. 10 years ago..All with taxpayer money. Its no wonder the City is in financial trouble…

  • former resident

    I must say, I still have fond memories of beach parties, boating, water skiing,etc. in the back creek and Mau-Mau Island. Sure, we remember the garbage trucks dumping garbage night and day on the island. I know I’m dating myself.
    The bridge has been virtually non-existent for many years.
    Why couldn’t the city make the island a continuation to the Gateway park system for people to also enjoy?

  • Frank

    It is very interesting that the broke city, state, and gov’t just spend 15 million dollars on creating a home for birds! But we pay for all of this and I don’t remember voting on higher taxes for home for birds but lets lay off Teachers and cut other services??? They care more about the birds and people on welfare their whole life

  • Mayor Bloomturd

    C’mon, Frank, do you really think we haven’t gone over budget?? $15 Million??? Hahaha. Have you ever heard of a construction project in NYC that came in on time and on budget? Why do you think I have to close 20 fire companies?? As Mayor, I gotta pay for those stupid little birds by endangering the publics safety. I will cross my fingers that while I phone in my last term as Mayor, not to many people will burn to death due to my arrogance and stupidity!!!

  • Anonymous

    keep in mind folks, this wasn’t done with taxpayer money, It was paid for by the developers that built the plazas at 4 sparrows marsh on flatbush.