FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION PROTECTING JAMAICA BAY
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The next bill before me is Introductory Number 565-A, sponsored by Council Members Gennaro, Avella, Barron, Brewer, Clarke, Comrie, Fidler, Gonzalez, Jennings, Koppell, Liu, Nelson, Palma, Quinn, Recchia, Sanders, Vallone, Weprin and Sears. This bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to research and develop a watershed protection plan for the Jamaica Bay watershed.
"The Jamaica Bay watershed covers approximately 93,000 acres of the City and is one of the largest coastal ecosystems in the Northeastern United States. In addition to providing a wide variety of recreational opportunities, the Jamaica Bay wetlands play an important role in facilitating natural water quality improvement, flood protection and coastal erosion protection.
"Introductory 565-A calls for the Department of Environmental Protection to assess the technical, legal, economic and environmental feasibility of a variety of conservation measures and, where appropriate, include these measures as part of a plan to preserve the ecological integrity of the Jamaica Bay. Additionally, the plan must consider how best to work with the many government agencies responsible for the Jamaica Bay watershed and include strategies for educating the public about the importance of the Jamaica Bay. Finally, the legislation calls for the creation of a Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Advisory Committee to assist DEP in carrying out these responsibilities.
"While a step in the right direction, successfully developing the type of plan contemplated by Intro 565-A requires input from a wide range of stakeholders committed to achieving realistic goals for the Jamaica Bay and its watershed.
"I would like to thank the City Council and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd for their leadership on this issue."
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958