The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) created the Jamaica Bay Regional Working Group (JBRWG), a collection of representatives from the NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) communities closest to Jamaica Bay. Aiming to facilitate collaboration among these communities, the JBRWG strives to support and inform members about emerging resiliency efforts in the Bay.
The JBRWG is made up of representatives from nine NYRCR Planning Areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau County, including: Breezy Point, Rockaway West, Rockaway East, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Gerritsen Beach/ Sheepshead Bay, the Southern Brooklyn Peninsula (Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, and Sea Gate), The Five Towns (the Village of Cedarhurst, Hewlett, Village of Lawrence, Woodmere, Village of Hewlett Neck, Village of Hewlett Harbor, Meadowmere, and Inwood), and South Valley Stream.
From Sea Gate on the western edge of the Southern Brooklyn Peninsula, to South Valley Stream at its headwaters in Nassau County, communities in and around Jamaica Bay suffered enormous damage from Superstorm Sandy. The Bay, known as a unique ecosystem in an urban landscape, is famous for its salt marsh islands, intertidal flats, horseshoe crabs, and migratory birds that use the area as a critical refuge during their seasonal travels. Beyond the water, Jamaica Bay is surrounded by woodland and forests that host a wide array of wildlife. This dynamic system has attracted people for generations, and many of its surrounding communities are partially defined by their close proximity to Jamaica Bay’s waters. However, this proximity also served as a hazard during Superstorm Sandy. At the height of the storm, the Bay swelled and water surged up through a network of creeks and streams, infiltrating neighborhoods and inundating homes, businesses and roadways.
Through the NYRCR Program, and through the JBRWG, the Jamaica Bay community can continue to come back better and stronger, and prepare for future instances of extreme weather.