“Saw Mill Creek Pilot” Mobile Workshop: NYC’s First Wetland Mitigation Bank
Pier 11 / Wall St. South Street, New York, New York, NY
Event Type: Trip
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, wetland restoration plays an important role in New York City’s rebuilding and resiliency efforts, creating large-scale green infrastructures while balancing sustainable waterfront development.
The Saw Mill Creek Mitigation Bank Pilot aims at restoring and protecting 68 acres of severely degraded wetlands creating “mitigation credits” that developers can purchase to offset the expected adverse impacts of their future permitted projects.
AICP CM: 2 CREDITS
- 2:00 – 2:15 PM | Welcoming on board, sign-in, departure
- 2:15 – 3:00 PM | Bus travel to Staten Island + introduction to mitigation banking and to the site
- 3:00 – 5:00 PM | Presentation + guided walking site visit + questions & answers
- 5:00 – 6:00 PM | Bus travel to Manhattan
Meeting point: Pier 11 / Wall St., the bus will be parked under the FDR Dr. freeway.
Max Taffet, Vice-president at NYC EDC, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Robert White, Vice-president at AKRF
Aldo Treville, Research Analyst at NY Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery
Guided by the Clean Water Act, a wetland mitigation bank places a perpetual conservation easement on the land, with a trust fund specifically dedicated to long term management of natural resources inherent to the bank. By securing mitigation credits large landowners, including the government, are able to maintain a property retaining ecological functionality and ecosystem services.
28 states in USA have established over 1,000 mitigation banks since 1990, resulting in the restoration of over 960,000 acres of wetlands.
Saw Mill Creek Mitigation Bank
Saw Mill Creek Marsh is located in Staten Island’s North-West Shore, comprising of previously filled and degraded urban wetlands and upland buffers. During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the creek suffered from severe flooding, which only worsened the degradation.
The land is city-owned and managed by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, while NYC EDC manages the credit sales process. Revenues through the sale of credits are used to reimburse construction costs, perform monitoring, maintenance and long-term stewardship of the site. The ongoing restoration initiative, called M.A.R.S.H.E.S. (Mitigation and Restoration Strategies for Habitat and Ecological Sustainability) is designed to: remove urban fill, improve tidal hydrology exchange, reestablish native plant species, control invasive plant species, minimize contamination risks, and increase fish and wildlife habitat
Overall it’s expected that the project will improve water quality, flood attenuation, sediment quality, plant diversity, and increase wildlife species abundance and diversity. It will also foster economic development since the project generates 18.64 credits of mitigation for infrastructure and development projects located in Staten Island, Manhattan, and portions of the Bronx and the Brooklyn/Queens waterfront.