On Wednesday, April 18 and Friday, April 20, the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), the New York City Parks Department, Billion Oyster Project (BOP) and SCAPE joined on the South Shore of Staten Island as co-sponsors of a series of events to celebrate Earth Day.
During the two-day event, hundreds of school children convened at Conference House Park to learn about ecology and resiliency through educational activities and shore walks. A central focus was the Living Breakwaters, a multi-faceted project designed to attenuate shoreline erosion and protect inland property. The nine breakwaters will provide habitats for native fish, mollusks, crabs and other species, effectively restoring the area’s complex natural ecosystem. When construction is complete, the Billion Oyster Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring a new generation of environmental stewards to restore and protect the harbor, will lead the active oyster restoration work, including installing oysters on the breakwaters themselves.
“Since its very early stages, Living Breakwaters, like so many of Governor Cuomo’s storm recovery initiatives, has embodied a multidimensional approach to resiliency — focusing on physical resiliency, and on ecological diversity and public engagement,” said GOSR’s Senior Project Manager for Living Breakwaters, Lisa Kaplan. “GOSR and our project partners are working to make the Raritan Bay and the Tottenville community more resistant to coastal risk. We continue to look for every opportunity to engage and educate these young New Yorkers, as well as other members of the public, to cultivate a legacy of a greater awareness of ecology, natural habitats, and green infrastructure. and we’re pleased to have worked with the New York City Parks Department, SCAPE and the Billion Oyster Project on this special commemoration of Earth Day.”
Developed in answer to the federal Rebuild By Design competition, Living Breakwaters was conceived and designed by SCAPE, a landscape architecture firm. The project is funded by $60 million in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) dollars.
For more information on Living Breakwaters and the related Tottenville Shoreline Protection Project, visit https://stormrecovery.ny.gov/living-breakwaters-tottenville.