NEW YORK TIMES: Written by: Anne Barnard. Photo by: Amr Alfiky.
A group of Staten Island residents concerned about climate change is challenging the project.
It is an unlikely centerpiece for a save-the-wetlands campaign: a patch of woods and swamps surrounded by strip malls and service roads on the densely populated, industrial northern shore of Staten Island. To nearby residents fighting to preserve it, the parcel is a bulwark against disaster. The 28 acres are part of a network of wetlands that in 2012 helped protect the area from the deadliest floods of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated New York City and killed 43 residents, more than half of them in Staten Island.
But the land’s developer has a different vision: a giant BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Interviews with over a half dozen experts and Staten Island residents reveal how air pollution served as a dangerous antecedent to a coronavirus outbreak that ravaged the borough and underscores the need to improve ozone smog on the Island.
…And while the North Shore — above the Staten Island Expressway — has over half the population of the rest of the borough, it has only around 30% the number of trees compared to the Island below the expressway, giving it less green space that can improve air quality, according to NYC Parks Department data.
That total could be further diminished by the creation of a BJ’s Wholesale Club that would result in the destruction of 18 acres of woodland next to the wetlands in Mariners Harbor.
In a last-ditch effort to prevent the construction of a BJ’s Wholesale Club, local conservationists are suing the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in an effort to force the department to redo its environmental assessment of the site.
Written by: Erik Bascome. Read more from the article: https://bit.ly/3fcMxkz
Like many families during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic on Staten Island, New York, I visited parks outside of my neighborhood. As a new resident, it was an opportunity to get more acquainted with the borough’s well known open green spaces. But primarily it offered an opportunity to breathe cleaner air for my family as a result of living downwind from an oil refinery.
Wednesday, September 23rd: The Intricacies and Intersections of Climate, Abolition, and Decolonization Webinar on @ 6pm via Zoom. Click this link to sign up for the webinar.
The Racial Justice, Climate Justice Webinar will be an interactive workshop highlighting the intersection of abolition and climate organizing. Our webinar will kickoff with talks from two local climate organizers and then break out into small groups to discuss case studies.
TOPICS TO COVER:
Connecting Prison & Police Abolition to Climate Justice
Histories of Abolitionist & Climate Aligned Organizing
Massive, deadly fires in Western States. New storms aiming at the Gulf Coast. Wildly fluctuating temperatures throughout the country. And we’re not even mentioning what’s happening in other parts of the world!
This coming Sunday, Sept. 20th, we will march under the banner of Climate Justice Through Racial Justice… and we hope you will join us. While the devastation caused by climate change is in the top of the news these days, the other crises have not diminished: COVID-19 has taken almost 200,000 lives in this country, police abuses and brutality are exposed every day, white supremacists and right wing militia are active, the economic crisis is impacting the lives of millions of people every day, and much more.
We march on Sept. 20th because we know all of these issues are connected. We know that dealing with the climate crisis boldly will not be possible without addressing racism and white supremacy directly. Now is the time for action on our part to make our elected representatives take the actions so desperately needed.
For more details about the Sept. 20th march, including the demands, visit pcmny.org.
Let us know if you will join us by filling out this short RSVP form. Share this message widely. Help get the word out by using our social media toolkit.
We hope to see you on Sunday. And on September 23rd, 6-8pm, join us for “The Intricacies and Intersections of Climate, Abolition, and Decolonization,” an interactive workshop highlighting the intersection of abolition and climate organizing. Please register to receive the Zoom information. PCM-NY Admin TeamLeslie, Kei, Laurel, Nancy, Marilyn, Allen and Denise
The Coalition for Wetlands and Forests continues their fight to preserve the Graniteville Swamp aka the Graniteville Wetland and Forest. This is the wetland that saved this Environmental Justice community, a community of mostly black and brown people, from flooding during Hurricane Sandy. We are right across the street from the wetland. This video is highly important to this cause because Carl Alderson, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA, proves the point that the community was saved from flooding during Hurricane Sandy and that we are at high risk of flooding, especially if we lose the wetland.
He also shows that a careless land use policy, with no one looking at the whole picture, has led to developments such as the Amazon Fulfillment Center nearby. With the filling in of that land, which was once a valley and now is a hill, and the addition of its very large structures, the Graniteville community is even more at risk of flooding. The policy of not looking at the overall impact of construction or land adjustment on the neighboring communities, has to stop. Nothing in nature is isolated. Everything is connected to everything else.
No new land use should be approved without the consideration of the effect on nearby land and communities and without the consideration of climate change which brings sea level rise, storm surges and torrential rain flooding. Climate change, climate chaos, is happening now, not in 50 years. Just look at the fires on the west coast, now in 19 states, just look at the record-breaking hurricanes and flooding in the south. Look what happened to NYC during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Let’s wake up and begin to heal the earth.
Description by SICWF co-founder Gabriella Velardi-Ward