FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 17-93
October 13, 2017
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Staten Island Public School Students Help Clean Up Wolfe’s Pond Bluebelt
Students from Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning High School Gathered at Wolfe’s Pond Bluebelt to Remove Litter for ‘Day of Service’
Photos are of the Event Available on DEP’s Flickr Page
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today 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.
- Become a member of the Adopt-A-Bluebelt Program. The program offers local community groups, companies and individuals an opportunity to enhance Staten Island's open spaces by acting as Sponsors who adopt parts of the Bluebelt. Under the Program, Sponsors may hire private companies as maintenance providers, to care for Bluebelt sites. Each Sponsor's generosity is acknowledged with a sign, displaying the name of the Sponsor at the adopted site.
- Organize a Bluebelt clean up or participate in any one of DEP's Friends of the Bluebelt clean-up events held each year.
- Join a group that shares your interest in the environment such as Friends of Wood Duck Pond, Friends of Jack's Pond, your local civic association, or contact your Community Board to learn about its activities. For more information about these activities, call 311 and ask to be connected to DEP's Staten Island Bluebelt field office.
- Report illegal dumping directly to 311.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.