Several recent developments with Newtown Creek provide the opportunity for Greenpoint denizens to give feedback.
First, Newtown Creek Alliance shared on Instagram that the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation “is considering changing Newtown Creek’s Water Quality Standards.” The NCA encourages locals to submit their comments on how they recreationally use the Creek. If the standards are lowered, NCA says that “recreators would be left uninformed of contact risks and underprotected.”
The water quality at Newtown Creek is currently classified as SD. “The best usage of Class SD waters is fishing. These waters shall be suitable for fish, shellfish, and wildlife survival,” according to the NYSDEC.
Add your comments before 11:59 p.m. on November 28.
In October, the US Army Corps of Engineers released an over 500-page report on coastal resiliency for the NY and NJ Harbor. While they considered multiple approaches, the USACE ultimately released a $52 billion plan that sparked concern from the NCA, who found that the plan lacked consideration of a broad range of approaches for resiliency.
“One massive in-water barrier and gate is proposed near the mouth of Newtown Creek, which will fundamentally change the flow of waters to and from the Creek,” said the NCA in one of several critiques on their website. “The structure, as proposed, would reduce the existing 400’ wide opening to just 130’. We need to better understand how this permanent restriction to water flow would impact the Creek’s water quality, sediment deposition, fish and marine wildlife passage, Superfund remedies, as well as maritime and recreational use near the mouth.”
Concerned residents are advised to stay tuned for a more formalized letter of opposition and more guidance on how to provide public commentary on the project, which will last until January 6, 2023. In the meantime, the NCA has encouraged reading reporting from THE CITY and Gothamist, in order to gain a better understanding on what this plan means.