BY JESSICA PARKS
A series of projects are underway to
fortify Canarsie’s eastern shore from
future fl ooding — a longtime burden
for the shoreline community exacerbated
in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy.
“I have been waiting for this for
over 15 years,” said Maria Garrett, a
resident of Canarsie’s waterfront. “I
was advocating for this back in 2005.
After Sandy hit, it got much worse.”
In the event of storms or high tides,
Canarsie’s Fresh Creek, an inlet of Jamaica
Bay, dumps water into the sewage
systems connected to homes along
108th Street — resulting in fl ooding in
addition to the creek overfl ow.
To address the fl ooding into the
shoreline sewer system, the Governor’s
Offi ce of Storm Recovery and the
Dormitory Authority of New York are
conducting a multi-million dollar restoration
on the outfall, where the area’s
sewage drains into Fresh Creek Basin,
and the construction of tide gates over
fi ve storm sewers along 108th Street.
“Through GOSR’s $14.5 million
COURIER L 12 IFE, APRIL 9-15, 2021
Fresh Creek Coastal Protection Project,
the state is implementing targeted
solutions to protect and fortify
vulnerable sections of the coastline,”
said Eileen Méus, deputy executive director
of the NY Rising Community
Reconstruction and Infrastructure
Programs. “The Avenue M Outfall Reconstruction
and the creation of new
tide gate chambers play a critical role
in our efforts to mitigate the impacts of
sea level rise, reduce erosion and prevent
contamination of the sewer system,
and we look forward to breaking
ground on these resiliency projects.”
The Avenue M outfall, as it stands
today, is deteriorating with eroding
sidewalls and a missing roof, rendering
it useless against increasing sea
level rise. To address an additional
large volume of debris preventing the
outfall from properly functioning, offi -
cials said the new outfall will be constructed
with sloped pavement ramping
down from the drain to prevent
Along 108th Street, fi ve storm sewers
Fresh Creek Basin. New York State Parks Department
— at Avenues K, L, M and N and
Seaview Avenue — will be outfi tted
with tidal gate chambers which will
block seawater, trash and debris from
entering the sewage system in the
event of fl ooding. Once the water returns
to low-tide, the tidal gates will
open and discharge the tidal water
back into the creek.
While shoreline residents welcome
the state project, they hope offi cials
will also address the runoff from the
creek itself, which is not currently included
in the scope of the project.
“My house is directly on the waterfront,”
Garrett said. “We don’t see the
sewer water on the waterfront, we only
get fl ooding from the creek.”
Bulkheads around Fresh Creek,
which work as a retaining wall, have
been damaged for years and are ineffective
in preventing fl ooding, said
Garrett, and need to be replaced with
new bulkheads or other resiliency
measures such as living shorelines or
berms and levees.
“I have been advocating for them to
restore the bulkheads,” Garrett said.
“They need to make it a higher elevation
even if they don’t have the money
to restore the bulkheads.”
The project will be paid for with
federal emergency funds allocated to
the state after Superstorm Sandy. Construction
is slated to begin in May and
be completed by July 2022.
Canarsie’s Fresh Creek to see sewer
upgrades to prevent fl ooding
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