We’ve seen several concepts showing how storm water-capturing wetlands could benefit NYC, but now a new proposal is bringing those ideas one step closer to reality. The Lower East Side Ecology Center has developed a plan to create a 1-acre wetland right in East River Park and will be presenting it at a Community Board 3 Parks Committee meeting next Thursday. The approximately $1 million project would create a new ecosystem within the park that could attract wildlife, filter rainwater and even absorb storm water.
Wetlands are lands where saturation with water is the dominant factor determining the nature of soil development and the types of plant and animal communities living in the soil and on its surface (EPA website). Some of the benefits of these types of ecosystems are their ability to clean dirty water naturally and to absorb excess water, hold it and release it when necessary.
“The wetland is really an opportunity to demonstrate alternatives on how to manage storm water or any dirty water,” LESEC executive director Christine Datz-Romero told DNAInfo. Though there are many different kinds of wetlands, the East River Park Wetland would utilize gravel and native plants to filter water and create a new habitat for birds and other animals.
If approved, the new wetland would be located on a 1-acre patch of land at the south end of the park near Cherry Street. In order to raise funds for the project, the LESEC hopes to fundraise throughout 2013 and if all goes well, construction of the wetland an commence in early 2014.