Nov 16 2016 nps presentation west pond[2995]

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  • West Pond Update:

    Breach and Trail Repair

    North and South Gardens

    Gateway National Recreation Area, Jamaica Bay Unit, West Pond

    National Park Service

  • Overview

    West Pond is one of the most popular sites within

    Gateway National Recreation Area and is a local,

    national, and international destination.

    West Pond is 44 acres, 3 - 6 feet deep.

    1.5 mile loop trail, Visitor Center.

    West Pond provides opportunities for birding, walking, and

    environmental education.

    Average yearly visitation over 575,000 pre-Sandy.

    Over 5,400 school groups from 2010-2015.


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  • Pre-Sandy Conditions Despite a long history of intense development, Jamaica Bay is rich

    in fish and wildlife communities, with large and diverse populations

    of resident and migratory species.

    Jamaica Bay is recognized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as

    valuable habitat for migrating birds along the Atlantic. Some of these

    species have special regulatory protections under the Endangered

    Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and state-level protections.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that nearly 20% of North

    Americas bird species migrate through or breed in the Jamaica Bay


    The West Pond freshwater wetland habitat of pre-Sandy conditions,

    unique and rare within Jamaica Bay, was a significant factor in the

    diversity of species.

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  • Hurricane Sandy

    West Pond was breached and inundated with sea water from

    Jamaica Bay, which has continued to increase salinity, create

    tidally influenced conditions, and change the habitat composition

    from brackish to more saline conditions.

    The existing breach continues to widen and is vulnerable to future

    damage from storm activity and erosion.

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  • Primary





  • Primary Breach

    Secondary Breach

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    Storm Damage

  • Post-Hurricane Sandy Currently, due to the loss of the freshwater wetlands, the West

    Pond does not provide habitat that supports the diversity of

    species that existed pre-Sandy.

    Loss of the loop-trail affected the visitor use and experience.

    Although the West Pond area continues to provide excellent

    habitat for shorebirds, waterbirds with freshwater associations

    have declined.

    National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology data

    from 2011-2014 show a decline in species since the breach to West


    Visitation numbers for the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge have

    dropped significantly since Hurricane Sandy.

    A 37% reduction in visitation occurred between 2011 and 2014.


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  • Project Work Current Project Work: Berm/breach repair

    Trail repair at berm/breach

    Replace water control structure

    Implement water replenishment source

    Design for Shoreline Restoration

    Future Work (Covered in EA but not funded

    by Sandy): Shoreline Restoration Implementation

    Living shoreline

    Marsh restoration

    Terrapin Point

    Habitat enhancement

    Invasive species control

    Trail system

    Visitor Amenities

    Viewing blinds / platforms

    Trails / boardwalk systems

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  • West Pond project

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    Current Project Work

    Water Control Structure

    Current Project Work

    Secondary Breach Repair

    Current Project work

    Primary Breach Repair/

    Trail Repair

    Future Work

    Terrapin Point

    Habitat Improvement

    Current Project Work

    Design Shoreline

    Restoration Future Work Implementation

    Current Project Work

    Water Source

    Future work

    Trail Amenities

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    Current Project: Breach/Trail Repair

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    Current Project: Breach/Trail Repair

  • Visitor Access During Construction

  • Construction Access from Cross

    Bay Boulevard

  • Construction Staging and Safety

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    Current Progress and Next Steps

    Contract has been awarded. $1.7m for repair of

    breach and water control structure. Mobilized

    October 11th.

    Currently scheduled for 250 days, with completion

    date of June, 2017 (bird-dependent).

    Working with NYC on fresh water source

    Contract just awarded for design of living


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    Current Progress and Next Steps

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    N&S Gardens Restoration

    $800,000 partnership project between The Nature

    Conservancy, the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks

    Conservancy, and the National Park Service

    Purpose is to eradicate invasive plants and

    promote a more diverse, sustainable and resilient


    During 2016-2017, approximately 20,000 native

    plants will be planted

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    N&S Gardens Restoration

    October planting in South Garden

    Follow-up invasive treatments in spring and late

    summer 2017

    Restoration planting in North Garden 2017

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    N&S Gardens Restoration

    October 25-30th, 2016 volunteer planting:

    278 volunteers

    High schools, corporate volunteers, general

    public and local residents, TNC staff

    7,851 trees planted

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    N&S Gardens Restoration

  • Questions?


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