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Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill into law that will secure legislative protection for Jamaica Bay for years to come.

State Senator Joseph A. Addabbo, the prime sponsor of the bill (S.8043), lauded the governor for his approval of the Jamaica Bay Borrow Pitt Bill — originally drafted by former Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder — which will prohibit certain hazardous materials from being used to fill Jamaica Bay in a process known as dredging.

Dredging refers to the process of removing mud, sediment and debris from the bottom of rivers, lakes and harbors in order to increase the depth of waterways, allowing ships to navigate easier.

“Protected green space and clean natural bodies of water are hard to come by in extremely urbanized areas such as New York City, and it is now more important than ever that we do everything we can to protect the environment we have,” said Addabbo. “This bill, which Governor Cuomo has now signed into law, will go a long way toward preserving the land these creatures call home and making sure Jamaica Bay stays clean and free from contamination for years to come.”

Broad Channel Civic Association President Dan Mundy was also elated with the news.

“This bill closes a loophole that allowed for dredged material that would not be allowed to be placed in the open ocean placement due to its contaminated nature,” Mundy said. “This loophole, coupled with the expensive nature of disposing contaminated fill, created a financial incentive for agencies tasked with getting rid of this type of material to look to the deep areas of the by as attractive alternatives.”

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