Help Save Ridgewood Reservoir in Queens

August 10, 2010 at 7:40 AM Leave a comment

Help Save Ridgewood Reservoir!

The natural area within the former Ridgewood Reservoir is a thriving mosaic of flora and fauna – unique and important especially in the neighborhood.  Although plans are currently on hold, New York City Parks and Recreation intends to build ballfields within a portion of the basins. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will soon be reviewing the site to determine whether the wetlands that have formed on the site qualify as protected under state regulations.  

As part of Highland Park, Ridgewood Reservoir lies between Brooklyn and Queens and was last used as a water source during the drought of the 1960s. The reservoir was drained and decommissioned in 1989 after the expansion of New York City’s Catskill and Delaware water systems.  The wetland vegetation and shorebirds that call the site home think it’s a wetland!

Here’s What You Can Do!

You can help save Ridgewood Reservoir by writing a letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation explaining why this important natural area is worthy of protection. Be sure to include some of these important facts:

  • Ridgewood Reservoir is the highest point in the Jamaica Bay watershed. The reservoir and its environmentally significant attributes should be incorporated into the ongoing planning for the Jamaica Bay Watershed plan.
  • Free from the noise of the Jackie Robinson Parkway, Ridgewood Reservoir is a unique natural area with forest that regenerated without any human assistance.
  • The basins contain diverse ecologies of fresh water wetlands, mesic and wet forest and successional open fields, the habitats within the Ridgewood Reservoir basins serve as an important storm water filtration system.
  • Ridgewood Reservoir is the highest point in the Newtown Creek sewershed and protects Newtown Creek from Combined Sewage Overflow.
  • New York City law 71 requires protection of the city’s wetlands
  • Marsh areas and forest fringes are unique within New York City. Large freshwater wetlands are uncommon in our region and provide critical habitat for native wildflowers and wildlife.
  • The site is developing a mature canopy forest with some strong native plant presence. Plant species include three with a Conservation Status of either Endangered or Threatened in New York State, and many more that are uncommon in NYC, such as woolgrass (Scirpus cyperinus).

You may address your letter to the following individuals:

Mr. Tony Morenzi
Special Assistant
New York State DEC Region 2
1 Hunter’s Point Plaza
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101

Mr. John F. Cryan
Regional Permit Administrator
New York State DEC Region 2
1 Hunter’s Point Plaza
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101

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