The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today the installation of new signs at stormwater (MS4) outfalls along Coney Island Creek in Brooklyn. The new signage was installed at eight locations to notify residents of the presence of an outfall and prompting them to contact 311 with an outfall ID number, should they observe discharge after a period of dry weather. This pilot is one of many efforts to continue water quality improvements in Coney Island Creek and was developed with input from the community after a series of workshops with the Coney Island Beautification Project, the SWIM Coalition, Partnerships for Parks, NY Aquarium, and meetings with . . . .
The popular Kaiser Park fishing pier and adjoining beach on Coney Island Creek are in danger of being destroyed to build a ferry terminal.This location is also a horseshoe crab spawning ground and an environmentally sensitive area. Photo by Charles Denson
UPDATE: Public meeting regarding bulkhead rehab will be held at Community Board 13 on October 17 at 7pm. 1201 Surf Avenue, enter at rear of building.
NOVEMBER 27, 2018
A construction crew at the Kaiser Park fishing pier, July 2019. Another backroom deal? The city has apparently chosen the worst location for the Coney Island ferry. Photo by Charles Denson
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced grant awards from the Coney Island Creek Environmental Benefit Project Fund (CICF). DEC established the fund to support projects in the Coney Island Creek community from enforcement actions involving illicit sewage discharges into the Coney Island Creek watershed.
“These grants will fund several projects that will benefit the Coney Island Creek community,” said Regional Director Steve Zahn. “Investments like these will help show our continued commitment to addressing environmental challenges faced in this community.”
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will administer the grants, which were awarded to:
City Parks Foundation for their Coastal Classroom Program at Coney Island Creek - $30,000. The project will engage students and community members in lessons about coastal ecology and environmental stewardship activities at Kaiser Park, which borders Coney Island Creek.
Wildlife Conservation Society’s Urban Naturalist Initiative - $99,940. The project will teach high school students to conduct ecological research, present about biodiversity in Coney Island Creek, design an Aquarium exhibit about sources of pollution, and engage residents in cleanup and planning for public access to the Coney Island Creek.
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for the Expansion of the Coney Island Creek Shorekeepers - $60,000. The project will deliver education, technical training, and stewardship activities focused on recruiting environmental volunteers in the Coney Island Creek Watershed.
National Audubon Society, Inc. For the Birds! Environmental Education Program - $76,560. The project will deliver hands-on environmental education programing about native birds and their habitats to students, create a native plant garden, and conduct bird walks and environmental education for students, families and community members around Coney Island Creek.
Projects are expected to commence within six months of award notification and must be completed within 18 months.
SHEEP FOUND AT CI CREEK PARK
Aggressive Water Quality Monitoring and Investigations Continue in Coney Island Creek Drainage Area
Tell NYSDEC: NYC’s Waters Remain Impaired by Sewage and Need Further Protection
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) proposes to remove a number of NYC waterways from the state’s “List of Impaired Waters,” sometimes referred to as the “Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List.” It is important that SWIM members oppose these delistings and keep pressure on the City and State agencies to bring NYC’s waters into compliance with water quality standards.
Help protect NYC’s waters by demanding they be listed as impaired and in need of a “Total Maximum Daily Load.” Please submit comments by August 6, 2018 to:
NYS DEC - Division of Water
Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management
Albany, NY 12233
The Citizens Water Quality Testing Program has recently recorded unacceptable levels of pollution at all of the test sites on Coney Island Creek. This means that there may be many more illegal sewage hookups to the creek's storm sewers. The high readings could also be related to the massive infrastructure construction going on in Coney Island. The levels fluctuate, but are still showing some of the highest readings in the entire city.
Police discovered a live sheep tied to a tree in Coney Island Creek Park. The sheep was in good health but in need of a shearing. After being rescued the animal was taken to a farm sanctuary.
Coney Island Creek
NYCDEP PRESS RELEASE, MARCH 14, 2018:
Other Creek News:
MARCH 22, 2019
Department of Environmental Protection Installs New Signage Surrounding Coney Island Creek to Aid Residents in Reporting Illicit Discharges
We were surprised to learn that the NYC Economic Development Corp. has issued an RFP to design and construct new bulkheads on the south side of Coney Island Creek between West 12th Street and West 23rd Street. Elected officials and Community Board 13 received no previous notification regarding the project and the August 6 informational session at the EDC's offices had passed by the time community members became aware of the RFP. The $32 million project includes "evaluation of the existing conditions, replacement of select bulkheads, raising of select bulkheads, and evaluation of alternate shoreline-raising possibilities." The project is expected to be completed by 2022.
Responses to the proposal are due on September 14, 2018.
On July 27 a demonstration was held at the Kaiser Park fishing pier by members of the Coney Island community who have been fishing at the pier for years. They remembered Mayor de Blasio's January 2019 press conference where he stated that a ferry dock would be built at West 33rd Street and Bayview Avenue, a site that is outside the park and away from the pier. What prompted the demonstration was the sudden appearance of a construction barge that arrived to begin drilling core samples in front of the pier, the first step in any marine construction project.
The fishing community felt betrayed. They had not heard that the Kaiser Park pier was being considered for the ferry dock. They felt that the meetings where the proposed dock location at the park was announced were never properly advertised in the community. Nor were notices posted at the pier or in the park. Lack of communication by the city is what led to the demonstration.
The NYCEDC and Skanska Construction denied in the media that there was a "contract" to construct a ferry dock at the Kaiser Park location. But unless Skanska was doing the drilling as charity, some sort of contract seems to have been issued for the preliminary work at the pier.
An article about the demonstration that ran in the August 1 Brooklyn Paper included statements from Skanska Construction's public relations rep casting doubt about my conversations with Skanska employees and implying that I was lying about the encounter. But the entire dialogue had been recorded while I was filming on July 14 and again at the pier on July 17. Some of the conversation is posted on this website.
The Brooklyn Paper quotes were as follows:
"The construction outfit flatly denied Denson’s claim that their surveyor spilled the beans regarding any decision to use the pier as a ferry launch, saying not only would they not do that, but that it would be impossible, given that a location has not been chosen . . . 'Skanska’s employees do not, would not, and could not comment on the status of a contract that doesn’t exist,' read a statement Skanska released."
The Skanska representatives I spoke with at the creek are the ones who get these projects built, not the public relations mouthpieces or the bureaucrats who were also quoted in the story. Also, I have never used the phrase "spilled the beans." Those are the reporter's words implying that secrets were revealed, which is not true.
The Skanska workers were friendly and outgoing, and they offered their view that the Kaiser Park pier is where the ferry dock will be built as they are the ones in charge of the actual construction. They had no reason to lie or speculate about the project. What caused the demonstration was not a conversation with the gentlemen from Skanska, it was the fact that community members felt left out of the planning process.
The NYCEDC's credibility was seriously compromised following the Willets Point/Coney Island rezoning projects when the NY State attorney general found that the agency used illegal means to push through the rezoning and that the NYCEDC had illegally lobbied the City Council and had ghostwritten letters and op-eds to crush legitimate community concerns and opinions. Because of this, it's sometimes difficult to take the NYCEDC at its word. No one is against the ferry. We just want the truth.
— Charles Denson