Author Archives: admin_CFW

Join a committee and help us fight development of Graniteville Wetlands

We need:

Writers, researchers, environmentalists, media people, artists, lawyers, (to join committees and interpret documents for everyone) landscape architects, architects, engineers, people handing out flyers and petitioning and those willing to do foot work. If you know someone who might be interested in working with us, in these ways, please invite them to the next meeting, or keep them abreast of what is needed and when it is needed.



Please add your name to the committee where you gifts, experiences and talents lie:

  1. Fund Raising Committee – seeking grants, fundraiser events, donations on the street, donations from businesses…..
  2. Media Committee – Keeping the issue in the public eye at all times, connect with TV stations, newspapers, social media, contact the rich and famous, updating Facebook, our website, incorporating the arts into the movement, etc …..What else? Charlie, Eloise, Barbara Janet
  3. Education Committee – An meeting for the communities to educate them about the seriousness of the issues, financial, educational. Format a panel of experts on various issues and a Q&A…What else? Gabriella, Eloise
  4. Research Committee -How to demand a new Draft Environmental Impact Statement, post Sandy. The one submitted is very flawed. See the NY/NJ Baywatch group statement to City Planners. Who is the owner of this property, does the developer need to go through ULURP and if yes, how far along are they, what permits do they have at the Department of Buildings, other resistance movements, those that succeeded and those that did not and the reasons why, FOIA requests, find out the developers timeline, is Article 78 useful/applicable to us? Can we pursue Eminent Domain?……..  Janet
  5. Environmental Committee – articles, letters to the editor, educational forums concerning Climate Change where we are now and what to expect in the future, the extinction of species because of the loss of habitat.  Gabriella, Eloise
  6. Outreach Committee – to groups and organizations inside and outside NYC. Make connections, network, how can they help us, how can we help them, outreach to non-English speaking groups, to the people living in the trailer park, to local businesses, to churches, social groups, unions, to celebrities…..  Janet
  7. Financial analysis committee – what will this cost people and how do we make it expensive for the developer. Cost of losing small businesses, cost to Condo Associations…..What else
  8. Political Committee – attend the debates and other public forums, prepare pertinent questions, letter writing to politicians, arrange meetings, keep abreast of Community Board meetings, City Planning meetings etc…
  9. Leg work committee – Handing out fliers, collecting donations on the street, petitioning, tabling at events, finding space for meetings….. What else? Diana Ramos (Flyers and copies free), Pearl
  10. Legal Committee- what laws can we invoke to stop this and/or delay the progress of the developer, research court cases, lawsuit from residents claiming a financial burden.

Review on “Flooding And You,” A community event held on April 28th, 2018

Over 40 people attended Staten Island Coalition for Wetlands and Forests (SICWF) Community Forum “Flooding and You” on Saturday April 28 at the Mariners Harbor Library.

The goal of the forum was to raise awareness of the the proposed destruction of the Graniteville wetlands and forest on South Avenue in Staten Island and the impact on flood maps and the environment of the surrounding areas.  A BJ’s Wholesale Store is currently planned at the site. 

Speakers included James Scarcella and Tony Rose of National Resources Protective Association (NRPA) and SICWF leader Gabriella Velardi-Ward. They discussed the history of the site, and what had been done in recent years to help protect it from development, prior to the rezoning to the city to clear the path for the big box store.

“In this age of climate chaos, we need this wetland and forest to protect us.  Scientists are finding that the best resiliency plan against climate change, is not a wall but soft resiliency, that is wetlands, marshes and forests.” stated Velardi Ward.

During the 2 hour event, participants raised concerns about the high cost of flood insurance for surrounding homeowners and those who live in the adjacent trailer park.  Participants also shared concerns about the impact of pollution from New Jersey plants as well as the highway and airport traffic on this environmental justice community. 

SICWF member Eloise Calderwell stressed the point that there is nothing man-made today that can replace the protection what nature provides to protect from pollution and flooding. 

Attendees were asked to write the Governor Andrew Cuomo to protect the wetlands and help the group meet its 1,000 letter goal, to share information with neighbors, and join the coalition every Saturday on South Avenue from 11am-1pm.  

The next SICWF meeting will be at the Reformed Church of Staten Island 54 Port Richmond Avenue at 7pm. 

For more information contact: 

Contact: Gabriella Velardi  Ward, Coalition for Wetlands and Forests

Phone: 646-515-7402

Web: | e-mail:

The Coalition for Wetlands and Forests (SICWF)consists of members of environmental groups,of residents and surrounding condo associations as well as civic groups that have organized to save the local natural areas that are at risk of development. Organizations include National Resource Protectors Association, North Shore Waterfront Conservancy, Friends of Manresa, Staten Island Preservation League, Sustainable Staten Island, City West Condo Association, Regal Walk Condo Association

Past Event: Flooding and You Forum

“Flooding and You” A community forum.

When: April, 28th, 2018. 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Where: Mariner’s Harbor Library. 206 South Avenue

What good is BJ Wholesale on South Avenue,when Graniteville homes are flooded? It’s not a done deal! Here are 3 ways to help:

1. Call and Write New York State Governor Cuomo.
Ask him protect Graniteville Wetlands and make it part of the Staten Island Blue Belt. 1-518-474-8390. Andrew M. Cuomo NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224

2. Demand BJ’s CEO Christopher Baldwin pull out of Staten Island BJ’s Deal! c/o Kristy Houston
774-512-5086  TWITTER: @BJsWholesale   #NoBJinWetlands

3. Donate to help.
Visit and donate to our gofundme campaign.

Documents for review – FOIL for Graniteville




















Group Vows to Fight South Ave. Development Project

The controversial plan to build a BJ’s wholesale Club and several other retail outlets on South Avenue is moving forward. But some say the move will put nearby residents at risk of flooding since the construction would disrupt nearby wetlands.

Written by Anthony Pascale. Read more from the article:


Boycott BJ’s in Linden NJ – EVERY Saturday in February

Join the SICWF in showing its opposition to the destruction of Staten Island Wetlands in Graniteville.

We will be protesting every Saturday in February from 11:30am -1:30pm in Linden, NJ.(1001 E. Edgar Rd. Linden,NJ07036)  This is the location that many Staten Islanders travel to shop.

The goal of the protest is to raise awareness of the fact that the current owner of the Graniteville Wetlands planning to destroy precious wetlands and lease to BJ’s at the expense of the health and safety of the local residents.

The cost to the residents will be increased traffic and risk of flooding, as well as prohibitive costs for flood insurance.





Graniteville Tree Swamp PowerPoint (Authored By Carl Alderson)

Graniteville Tree Swamp PowerPoint (Authored By Carl Alderson)