Following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Bluebelt will be expanded in the Oakwood Beach area. It was announced by Senator Schumer on Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the project to minimize flooding caused by storms like Sandy.
The expansion, formally known as the Creek West Branch project, will address wetland rehabilitation and flood management in the area, which is prone to flooding. The Bluebelt is a crucial part of Staten Island's storm water management system and currently services one third of the Island.
"The tremendous damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy to both inland and shoreline areas in Staten Island made it crystal clear that we need to enhance our flood mitigation and sewer capacity measures throughout the borough, and now we have both the approval and funding we need to do just that." Said Chuck Schumer.
The EPA has been seeking the necessary permits and approval for the project since early last year. A key part of this project will be completed in conjuction with the Army Corps of Engineers. Efforts to expand the Bluebelt in South Beach are also underway.
Many streets in the beach communities on Staten Island are prone to flooding due to the lack of storm sewers in their respective areas. However, the expansion of the Bluebelt will solve that problem in an environmentally friendly way. The project will remove silt and use other methods to open up the West Branch wetland system, thereby reducing chronic flooding and allowing the low-lying area surrounding it to drain more rapidly after a storm.
Visit the links below for more information on the annoucement and the Bluebelt itself.