FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, EPA REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR JANE KENNY AND REPRESENTATIVE VITO FOSSELLA ANNOUNCE FEDERAL GRANT TO FINALIZE ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING AT MARINER'S MARSH
Grant will Help Revitalize Park and Spur Development of Additional Recreation Facilities
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Jane Kenny, Congressman Vito Fossella, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Christopher O. Ward today announced a $270,000 EPA grant to complete environmental assessments and testing at Mariner's Marsh. The grant is a key step in transforming the 107-acre brownfield into a revitalized park and protected open space. The study will be finished in 2006 and will allow the City to move forward with plans for transforming 6.25 acres, fronting Richmond Terrace, into a variety of recreational uses including ball fields, playgrounds, and soccer fields, and preserving the remaining 101 acres as a natural area. The entire site has evolved into a variety of natural areas, with ten ponds and wetland and upland habitats.
"New York can never have enough parks," said Mayor Bloomberg. "With this generous grant from the EPA, we can begin the transformation of Mariner's Marsh into a first-rate park. We can renovate, rebuild and, with community input, design a park that Staten Islanders and all New Yorkers can enjoy. I want to thank Congressman Fossella, Regional Administrator Kenny and Commissioners Benepe and Ward for their work on getting this project done."
"EPA's Brownfield program is one of the great environmental and community success stories of the past decade," said Regional Administrator Kenny. "Grants like this fund the important work needed to turn sites like Mariner's Marsh into places that everyone can enjoy."
"This funding will help our community reclaim Mariner's Marsh and preserve its 107 acres as open space for future generations of Staten Islanders," said Representative Fossella. "We are taking an important step today in strengthening our environment, preventing development and protecting open space. Mariner's Marsh is now firmly on the road to being transformed from a vacant industrial lot into a beautiful park featuring new ball fields and other amenities for children and families on the North Shore. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for his commitment to improving the quality-of-life on Staten Island and the EPA for its help in allowing Staten Island to achieve this long-sought victory."
"I want to applaud Mayor Bloomberg for providing Staten Island with yet another beneficial initiative," said Borough President Molinaro. "This federal grant will help transform a blighted, former industrial area into desperately needed recreational parkland for the Mariner's Harbor community. The North Shore has been discovered, and this rapidly growing area is booming with new housing stock. The EPA funding will go a long way to help alleviate the lack of recreation facilities and open, natural areas. I also want to thank Congressman Vito Fossella, EPA Regional Administrator Jane Kenny, DEP Commissioner Christopher Ward and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe for recognizing the needs of Staten Island's North Shore and adding to our reputation as 'The Borough of Parks.'"
"This assessment is an important step in the revitalization of Mariner's Marsh as we eventually redevelop the land into a multi-use green space for the residents of Staten Island," said Commissioner Benepe. "We are grateful to the EPA, one of Parks & Recreation's most valuable partners. With their support we are keeping our parks cleaner and greener than ever before."
"The City's efforts to resurrect brownfields will help bring much-needed usable open space to people in all five boroughs," said Commissioner Ward. "Mariner's Marsh is the City's fourth EPA brownfield grant, and it will be used to revitalize neighborhoods by addressing environmental concerns and reclaiming underutilized properties."
The environmental assessment on the land, which has been the site of steel manufacturing, shipbuilding and a rail line, is being funded through the EPA's Brownfield Pilot Assessment grant program. Mariner's Marsh is one of the City's five EPA demonstration sites and the only one to receive federal funding in Fiscal Year 2004. The $270,000 grant will be used to conduct a full Phase II Environmental Assessment on the 6.25 acres that will be used for ball fields, and Phase I and Phase II assessments on the remaining 101 acres. A previous $200,000 EPA grant was used by the City to complete a Phase I Environmental Assessment and limited Phase II Environmental Assessment on the 6.25 acres.
Phase I Environmental Assessments include a review of historical records, including land uses and activities that occurred on or adjacent to the site, chemicals associated with those activities, evidence of illegal dumping, records of tanks and spills and topographical information. Phase II Environmental Assessments involves actual soil testing to find if any contaminants are present to obtain information regarding surface oils, subsurface soils and groundwater. The results of this data will enable the Department of Parks & Recreation to complete the environmental assessment on the entire 107-acre property, which will be used for active and passive recreation and habitat restoration.
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Craig Donner (Fossella) (718) 356-5039
Jim Haklar (EPA) (212) 637-3677
Megan Sheekey (Parks)
Ian Michaels (DEP)
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