New institute’s focus: preserving Brooklyn’s untamed beachfront
Brooklyn College to host research on Jamaica Bay
Plans for a new Science and Resilience Institute for Jamaica Bay were announced on Monday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
Jamaica Bay, which contains numerous marshy islands, borders on several Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods. In Brooklyn, it borders on Canarsie, Bergen Beach, Spring Creek and Mill Basin; as well as Floyd Bennett Field, which is part of Gateway National Recreation Area.
The institute, which will be headed by the City University of New York, will promote understanding of urban ecosystems and their adjacent communities through an intensive research program focused on the restoration of the bay itself.
The mayor and Secretary Jewell made the announcement at Riis Landing in Rockaway and were also joined by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, CUNY Acting Chancellor William Kelly and Peter Madonia, COO of the Rockefeller Foundation.
“Since the signing of last year’s historic cooperative management agreement, NYC Parks has been proud to partner with the National Park Service to further our vision for a revitalized Jamaica Bay and Rockaway Parks,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “Even before Hurricane Sandy devastated our region, plans were in place to further resiliency efforts here at America’s great urban park.”
The new institute, which will host visiting scientists, provide lab facilities for students and researchers and convene events to share and disseminate research findings, will be formally established by the fall of this year, with a temporary space on the campus of Brooklyn College.
Its first undertaking will be the “Urban Resilience in an Era of Climate Change: Global Input for Local Solutions” Symposium at Brooklyn College on Oct. 17-18.
The mayor and secretary also announced plans for a beach grass nursery at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. This pilot program, with philanthropic support raised by the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, will collect native seeds from Jamaica Bay and Rockaway and create a nursery to grow beach grass. The grass would support efforts for coastline restoration in the region and citywide.
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