The push to grant the Ridgewood Reservoir federal recognition as a wetland under the Freshwater Wetlands Act got another supporter: Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.
On July 11, the Congresswoman wrote a letter to Eileen Murphy, the director of Congressional and Federal Affairs with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), outlining her support of the reservoir becoming designated as a wetland.
“The Ridgewood Reservoir is a local environmental gem that we should protect for future generations,” Velázquez said in a statement. “Granting the reservoir wetland status would [mean] that legal environmental protections under the Freshwater Wetlands Act would be extended to the reservoir, aiding its preservation.”
In her letter, Velázquez noted the reservoir’s history of serving the Queens and Brooklyn communities as a water supply, as well as an asset to Highland Park by providing flood protection by holding back water and slowing stormwater runoff.
She also pointed out the Ridgewood Reservoir’s importance to the ecological environments created by the reservoir and its three basins, and its use as an educational tool for local schools and residents.
“We strongly believe the Ridgewood Reservoir merits said wetland designation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for its urban, engineering and environmental significance,” Velázquez wrote. “We respectfully urge you to exercise your authority and render this designation.”