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New Creek Bluebelt unveiled on Staten Island, marks milestone in flood prevention

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Mayor Eric Adams, flanked by officials from Staten Island, proudly announced the completion of the long-awaited New Creek Bluebelt. The mayor emphasized the effectiveness of these bluebelts in curtailing urban flooding, deeming them a natural, dependable, and economically feasible solution.

The innovative drainage system, spread across 94 acres and amounting to a $110 million investment, operates as a green space engineered to adeptly manage runoff precipitation. It stands as a response to the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, aiming to prevent a repeat of the devastating loss of life and destruction.

Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi underlined the life-preserving attributes of the bluebelt, describing it as a blend of life-saving drainage systems, green space ponds, verdant flora, wildlife habitats, and winding pathways.

The timing of the announcement holds significant symbolism, occurring almost eleven years to the day since Hurricane Sandy battered the city. The bluebelt’s completion specifically targets an area of Staten Island that bore the brunt of the hurricane’s fury, transforming what was once termed “hell on earth” post-Sandy into a site of hope and resilience.

Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, reflecting on the past devastation, emphasized the magnitude of the losses suffered, not only in terms of life but also extensive property damage.

This expansive bluebelt will provide a shield against flooding in the neighborhoods of Midland Beach, Grant City, Dongan Hills, and Todt Hill. Rohit Aggarwala, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the City’s Chief Climate Officer, detailed the project’s scope, highlighting the installation of over two miles of storm sewers to channel into this blue belt, effectively merging both gray and green technologies.

Aggarwala emphasized the integration of the natural waterway with the storm sewer network, uniting traditional infrastructure with nature’s ingenuity to create a robust defense against flooding. The completion of the New Creek Bluebelt stands as a testament to the city’s proactive measures in combating the impact of severe weather events, representing a significant step towards a more resilient future for Staten Island.

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