Sunday, May 23, 2010

DEP planting marsh grass

From the Times Ledger:

The city began a new organic operation to help save the wetlands in Jamaica Bay last Thursday that they hope will stop the deterioration of the marshlands at the heart of the problem.

Cas Halloway, commissioner for the city Department of Environmental Protection, announced the second phase of the agency’s Eelgrass Restoration Project designed to add 1,000 new plants to the ecosystem. The plants not only provide a safe habitat for birds and fish, but also help reduce the excess nitrogen in the bay’s water supply and stop the saltwater marshlands from degrading.

“Restoring eelgrass to Jamaica Bay is another important step in our efforts to improve this invaluable natural resource,” Holloway said in a statement. “This program, if successful, will mark the first time in nearly 100 years that eelgrass is able to survive in Jamaica Bay.”

The eelgrass will be planted at three locations near Jamaica Bay — Breezy Point, the Breezy Point Yacht Club and Dubos Point — and will be protected by special fencing, poles and sandbags, according to the commissioner. The DEP will hold biweekly monitoring efforts to track the progress of the plants and make notes on how it grows and thrives in the ecosystem.

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