BY EMMA MILLER
The City Council approved legislation last week designed to restore and protect flood-prone areas surrounding Jamaica Bay.
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and City Council members Costa Constantinides, Eric Ulrich, I. Daneek Miller and Adrienne Adams joined community members and advocates on Sept. 28 at the Cross Bay Kiteboarding Launch Area in Broad Channel to celebrate the bills’ passing.
The bills — Intros. 628, 749 and 750 — were passed unanimously on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
Intro. 628 requires the city to study which areas are at risk of flooding and create plans for future floods. Flood-prone areas must be reevaluated every four years.
Intro. 749 helps buildings with groundwater flooding discover whether they can use the water for geothermal heating and cooling. Intro. 750 reestablishes the New York City Jamaica Bay Task Force after five years of unofficial operation.
Constantinides, who is the chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, called the laws a “big win in the fight against rising sea levels, pollution and extreme weather.”
“While the road to a healthier Jamaica Bay is still long, we now have a roadmap for protecting the health of Queens’ crown jewel along with the communities that live around it,” he said.
Ulrich, Adams and Amato expressed similar sentiments.
“Investing, protecting and preserving our environment must be a top priority not only now but for generations to come,” Amato said.
Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers President Dan Mundy was grateful for the legislation, calling the bay the “most important urban park in the National Parks System.”
“Jamaica Bay is home to thousands of species of birds, fish and marine life and is one of the greatest natural resources in the Northeast,” he said.
Miller said the laws will help the community prepare for future flooding, protect the bay and create energy sources.