Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t wasting any time on combating climate change and greening the Big Apple as his third term comes to a close. Recently, he signed three new critical pieces of green legislation authored by Councilmember James F. Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), chairman of the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, into law. The three new laws spell out critical changes and improvements the city will implement in an effort to protect the city from future environmental havoc and create an open space system that will educate residents on how they can do their part to combat climate change.
The Intro 75A law directs the creation of a stormwater resistant plant manual to support the city’s efforts to reduce runoff from big storms into low-lying areas and discourage severe flooding like the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. “Soil and plants together act as a big sponge and help to manage water. In this post-Sandy time it is so important that our elected leaders are focusing on the power of plants. With global warming and the shifting of where various plants grow it will be important to update the suggested plant lists as noted in the legislation and that managers continually adapt their practices so that we can draw from all plants to solve current needs,” said Susan Lacerte, executive director of the Queens Botanical Garden, to the Queens Gazette.
The second law, Intro 399, increases native biodiversity in public landscapes, maximizes plant species native to New York City in the city’s public parks, was sponsored by Councilman Albert Vann (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant). According to Marielle Anzelone, urban ecologist and executive director of NYC Wildflower Week, the native plantings will create ecological corridors and stormwater sensitive plantings will enhance resiliency and encourage on-site groundwater recharge.
Lastly, Intro 887-A establishes a Renewable Energy Webportal that consolidates information into an easy-to-navigate website that New York homeowners can access to study new climate change initiatives, how they can implement renewable energy systems, and provides a cost-calculator to help individuals determine the economic benefits of installing new systems.“Renewable energy initiatives should be simple and accessible for everyday New Yorkers as they seek to cut energy costs and reduce greenhouse emissions,” Gennaro said as reported by the Queens Gazette.
Via Queens Gazette