Don’t obstruct Graniteville Swamp (letter to the editor)

Don’t obstruct Graniteville Swamp (letter to the editor)

By Beryl A. Thurman

Port Richmond

Re: Proposed development of the Graniteville Swamp in Mariners Harbor into BJ’s & Company retail space.

It is important to know that the Graniteville Swamp is the headwaters of Old Place Creek. Development in the marsh and pine oak-dominated forest will greatly compromise the system’s ability to control neighborhood flooding, and discharge storm water safely out to Old Place Creek.

The loss of the forest and grassy marshes will do maximum harm to the water quality in the creek itself.  It would appear to be an oversight that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and NYC Parks have acquired large tracts of land on the lower portions of Old Place for parkland preservation only to have the upper portion of the creek become compromised by development that will ultimately have a cost to the taxpayer.

For years, the Graniteville Swamp has saved the City of New York countless dollars on unnecessary underground piping and plumbing of storm water. Not only does it spare us costly infrastructure, it acts as a filtration pump for the waters that penetrate its leafy forested floor and become cleansed before arriving to the tide waters of the Arthur Kill.

With all that we now understand about the cost savings associated with Bluebelt infrastructure it would seem preposterous, even corrupt, to give the nod to a project that will incur so much unnecessary expense to find new-built ways to deal with flooding and storm water discharge.

(Note: The writer is Executive Director/President of The North Shore Waterfront Conservancy of Staten Island.)

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