Staten Island Students Help Clean Up Wolfe’s Pond Bluebelt

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Posted: Monday, October 23, 2017 8:45 pm | Updated: 2:36 pm, Wed Oct 25, 2017.

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The New York City Department of Environmental Protection joined with 26 students from the Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning High School on Staten Island to help clean up Wolfe’s Pond Bluebelt in the Prince’s Bay neighborhood. The collaborative community service project is in its fifth year and prepares students to become environmental stewards for the Island’s Bluebelts.

"I want to thank the students and staff from Gaynor McCown for volunteering to clean up the Wolfe’s Pond Bluebelt. Fostering environmental stewardship teaches our youth to both protect and respect this precious ecosystem," said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. "The bluebelt is an innovative and sustainable approach to managing stormwater and reducing flooding in this neighborhood. I would ask all Staten Islanders to exercise outdoor ethics and keep the bluebelt clean and free from litter."

The Wolfe’s Pond Bluebelt collects stormwater from a drainage area of approximately 589 acres. The bluebelt consists of two constructed holding basins and a weir to control the stormwater. Over the last ten years, DEP has built Bluebelts for approximately one third of Staten Island’s land area. In the South Richmond and mid-Island areas, the city has purchased approximately 400 acres of wetland property for bluebelts that provide drainage for 19 watersheds, covering about 14,000 acres.

On Staten Island, DEP has connected thousands of homes to the city’s wastewater treatment system, eliminating the need for septic tanks, and preserved or constructed more than 60 Bluebelt wetlands to reduce roadway flooding and improve harbor water quality. This summer, DEP completed the largest ever expansion of the Bluebelt system with the activation of the Sweet Brook Bluebelt. This $48 million infrastructure upgrade for the Woodrow neighborhood added more than three miles of storm sewers, installed hundreds of catch basins, replaced existing water mains, and extended sewers to nearly 600 homes in the area, allowing them to discontinue the use of septic tanks. DEP also finished a $15 million new bluebelt project in the South Shore’s Pleasant Plains neighborhood. The project added catch basins and storm sewers, and connected nearly 100 homes to the city sewer system.

Staten Island residents can play a vital role in supporting the Bluebelt by helping to keep streams and wetlands pristine and by protecting them from pollution.

SOURCE: New York City Department of Environmental Protection

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