Shorelines And ReWild NY Express Concerns About Potential PW Development Site

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 -Article Submitted by David Jakim, MS/ MA

Multiple coastal habitats in Port Washington are vulnerable to development, including the Bay Aggregates property at 145 West Shore Rd. Two local organizations, Save Our Shoreline and ReWild New York are concerned about harm to the potentially ecologically significant communities that inhabit the marine waters at these locations. In addition, excavation of terrestrial and marine sediments may re-mobilize existing soil contaminants into Manhasset Bay.

David Jakim, MS/MA, visited the site on Feb. 17 and documented 22 species of plants, including salt-marsh cord-grass (Spartina alterniflora) as well as a currently inhabited fox den. Fox, deer, coyote and other mammals likely use this shoreline corridor for passage to different habitats such as Sands Point Preserve, the Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Corridor, and the Hempstead Harbor Woods directly across West Shore Road.

A Town of North Hempstead Hearing is to take place on Tuesday, March 23 to discuss and consider approval of the site’s draft environmental impact statement.  More than 1,600 individuals have signed a petition to prevent this development. Concerned community groups and organizations include The Center for Disaster Resilience Solutions 501c3, Transition Town, The Beacon Hill Civic Association, The Amsterdam and Harborview Living Centers, and PW Green, among others.

One important factor that might be overlooked but  needs to be considered in the environmental impact statement is whether or not the removal of dilapidated coastal infrastructure and bulkheads will disrupt ecologically significant habitats crucial to fish, shellfish, and other animals that use these structures for refuge, shelter, and living space.

The Center for Disaster Resilience Solutions (CDRS) has created a new organization, Save Our Shorelines, to assist local government, communities, and stakeholders to promote coastal disaster resilience for human and biological communities. Services provided include environment disaster resilience plans for socially vulnerable communities, the development of environmental impact statements for coastal developments, review of environmental impact statements, advising on matters of coastal disaster resilience, conducting local biodiversity assessments and rare species surveys, and analysis of soil and groundwater pollution and risks to public health.  In addition, CDRS has created ReWild New York to assist communities in rewilding, the practice of protecting, restoring and creating new habitats using locally-sourced native plants to support biological diversity and species of conservation concern  Re-wild New York is based in Port Washington and serves the greater New York area.

CDRS’s cadre of experts has created a new organization, Save Our Shorelines, to assist local government, communities, and stakeholders to promote coastal disaster resilience for human and biological communities. Services provided include environment disaster resilience plans for socially vulnerable communities, the development of environmental impact statements for coastal developments, review of environmental impact statements, advising on matters of coastal disaster resilience, conducting local biodiversity assessments and rare species surveys, and analysis of soil and groundwater pollution and risks to public health.

For more information, contact David Jakim, M.S., M.A, Vice President of Environmental Research at the Center for Disaster Resilience Solutions 501©(3), and Director of Save Our Shorelines and ReWild, New York. Jakim is a primary contributor to the Town of North Hempstead Beach Park Master Plan and also serves as an educator and nature Guide at the Sands Point Preserve.  He can be reached via email at David.Jakim@gmail.com.

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