Category Archives: Articles

These Wetlands Helped Stop Flooding From Sandy. Now a BJ’s May Move In.

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.

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‘Gasping for air’: How Staten Island’s air pollution served as dangerous antecedent to COVID-19 outbreak

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.

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Written by: Joseph Ostapiuk.

Can Staten Island Address its Clean Air Crisis?

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.

Written by: Ajamu Brown. Read more from the article:

Plan To Turn Staten Island Wetlands Into BJ’s Wholesale Club Moves Forward

Over the objections of residents and public officials, the state said it will issue a permit that will allow a developer to destroy 18 acres of wetlands forest near the north shore of Staten Island in order to build a BJ’s Wholesale Club and a gas station, as well as lay enough asphalt to park 835 cars.
Written by Alexis Sottile. Read more from the article:

State DEC approves BJ’s development permit, paving way for site’s construction

City Comptroller Scott Stringer expressed disappointment in DEC’s decision. “The Graniteville wetlands are a miracle, and they spared a community the worst of Sandy. I am deeply disappointed that DEC chose to ignore calls from Staten Islanders and allow a precious natural resource to be paved over in the name of development,” Stringer said. 

Written by Sydney Kashiwagi. Read more from the article:

Encroaching development threatens a crucial Staten Island wetlands

Situated between the neighborhoods of Old Place and Graniteville, this 42-acre woodlands has been growing in isolation for many decades, inside a triangle of land surrounded by strip malls and chain stores. Thousands of mature trees live here, some soaring 100 feet over the adjoining marshes of the Graniteville Swamp. Soon, more than half of this forest may be bulldozed to make way for a 28-acre development that will include a gas station, 838 parking spaces, and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Written by Nathan Kensinger. Read more from the article:

Vital Staten Island Wetlands About To Get A BJ’s Wholesale Club

In this northwest corner of the Forgotten Borough, Velardi-Ward is one of dozens of Staten Islanders who have been waging a battle largely outside of the wider city spotlight, a stand against City Hall that they feel is a matter of life and death for the people who live in this part of the city.

Written by Alexis Sottile. Read more from the article:

Activists Still Hoping to Derail Plan to Develop on Staten Island Wetland

During Superstorm Sandy, low-lying areas like Canarsie, Red Hook and Midland Beach were among the worst hit but some neighborhoods escaped with the help of their local wetlands, which serve as a natural defense against storm surges. In the northwest corner of Staten Island some residents have been fighting to preserve their wetland site from an impending development sanctioned by City Council in 2017.

Written by Avery Miles. Read more from the article: