What the Army Corps' NY Coastal Resiliency Plan Means for Coney Island and the Creek


VIDEO: Environmental Racism and the Coney Island Ferry

The proposal is an environmental disaster that will do little to prevent flooding .. .

The Coney Island History Project's special exhibition for the 2018 season, opening on Memorial Day Weekend, is "Coney Island Creek and the Natural World." Coney Island is best known for its magnificent artifice, a manufactured reality and fantasy world that replaced the vibrant natural environment of sand dunes and salt marshes that existed before development began 200 years ago.

Very little of that environment has survived. The towering sand dunes were flattened, and the wetlands were filled in for development leaving the island vulnerable to storms. Even the island's world-famous beach is artificial, created. . . . 

The New York Harbor Coastal Resiliency Plan by the Army Corps of Engineers went live on their website on September 26, and it's a shocker.  The proposed $52 billion plan for New York and parts of New Jersey will have extreme consequences for Coney Island and the surrounding shorefront communities and gives no guarantees that any of the projects will work.
      

At first glance the plan seems to favor mechanical flood control rather than proven natural means such as raised living shorelines and restored marshes. Their are no details provided about the mechanical "storm surge gate" on Coney Island Creek, the "elevated promenade" on the Coney Island beach, and the "extra large floodwall" at Coney Island Creek Park and Sea Gate. It appears from the report that the Boardwalk would have to be raised five feet above its current height.
      

If many of the measures proposed in this plan are implemented, they could result in an environmental nightmare for local waterways, provide only marginal protection, and exacerbate flooding. Will Coney Island be surrounded by towering floodwalls, massive levees, and mechanical floodgates? (The plan is searchable for Coney Island and maps appear on pages 139 and 202.) Make your comments known before the January 6, 2023, deadline. The plan will be finalized in two years, and construction begins in 2030. The only thing for sure is that Coney Island will never be the same.
The report can be viewed and downloaded at
:

THIS EXHIBITION HAS CLOSED For more information or a private viewing: www.coneyislandhistory.org

​The City has constructed a ferry dock at this formerly tranquil site on Coney Island Creek, reversing 50 years of environmental improvements on the creek. NO mitigation is planned for wetland restoration or protection for Kaiser Park and the surrounding community.

CIHP Director Charles Denson frees a snagged horseshoe crab. The bridge site before and after CIHP clean-up.

 https://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Porta/37/NYNJHATS%20Draft%20Integrated%20Feasibility%20Report%20Tier%201%20EIS.pdf

CONEY ISLAND CREEK PARK

The EDC plans to dredge this narrow channel at the mouth of Coney Island Creek. This will destroy a wildlife refuge and release toxic pollution from the former landfill at Calvert Vaux Park.

Please read the story here:

THE four PUBLIC PARKS On CONEY ISLAND CREEK

kaiser park

The City movING forward with FERRY plan THAT WILL degrade
​And destroy Coney Island Creek and kaiser park

Coney Island History Project staff recently noticed that spawning horseshoe crabs had moved further up the creek than ever before and were getting snagged and trapped at the illegal dump site below the Cropsey Avenue bridge. In June, two History Project volunteers climbed down ladders and began freeing crabs that had become trapped by ropes, tires, and other debris. We removed snags, concrete, and tires from the site and restored it to a more natural state. CIHP plans to monitor the site and continue clean-ups in the future.

​​​NYCedc fined $70,000 for environmental violations

at coney island ferry dock!​

    Coney Island Creek is the last remnant of a vast and vibrant salt marsh estuary that once covered nearly 3,000 acres between the sand dunes of Coney Island and the glacial plain of what is now Southern Brooklyn. The waterway became Coney Island’s earliest attraction as the island’s first hotels sprang up along the creek’s shoreline during the 1820s. Until the late 19th century, pristine Coney Island Creek remained a popular destination for boating, fishing, crabbing, and hunting waterfowl.  

    The sprawling resorts that opened along the oceanfront in the 1870s began using the creek to dispose of raw sewage, initiating of a pattern of abuse that continued for the next century. As Coney Island developed and grew into the “World’s Playground,” the surrounding marshes were filled in with garbage and ash, polluting the creek and transforming it into a two-mile long industrial waterway that still drains Southern Brooklyn through numerous storm sewer systems. For several decades, the neglected and toxic creek survived misguided attempts to destroy it by filling it in rather than restoring it.

    The Clean Water Act of 1972 and a new ecological awareness changed public perception and gave new life to Coney’s neglected waterway. The 100,000 residents who live in close proximity to Coney Island Creek are coming to realize that the creek can be an asset instead of a liability. It’s now a case for Environmental Justice.  Today the creek has four parks along its shoreline and is once again being used for recreation, fishing, and boating. But much work remains to be done in restoring and protecting this dynamic ecosystem. This work will require a collaborative effort and public participation is needed and appreciated. See the News section for upcoming events.

six diamonds park

Coney Island Creek

Learn the fascinating history of the creek!

Resources

Coney Island Creek Exhibit Opens at the Coney Island History Project

DEMAND MITIGATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THIS ILL-CONCEIVED PROJECT! 

Photograph © by Charles Denson

What is Coney Island Creek?

protecting and preserving the coney island creek estuary

CIHP restores creek shoreline, rescues snagged horseshoe crabs

calvert vaux park