New York City’s $US 1.9 Billion Program to Combat Flooding includes Hundreds of Rain Gardens in the Borough of Queens

Note to Reader:

New York City will double the size of its green infrastructure program by building more than 5,000 curbside rain gardens, adding to the more-than 4,000 that have already been installed around the city. The curbside rain gardens soak up stormwater to mitigate local flooding and combined sewer overflows, improving the health of the city’s waterways.

The city’s expansion of curbside rain gardens is part of a broad push to fight climate change, which has included bold actions like a citywide Green New Deal, the sweeping Climate Mobilization Act and a plan to improve the resilience.

Construction of 200 curbside rain gardens underway in Queens, New York

Construction is under way to add nearly 200 specially designed curbside rain gardens to the southeast Queens neighborhoods of Cambria Heights and Queens Village, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection announced in November 2019.

Rain gardens are built into city sidewalks with curb cuts that let stormwater flow into them. Each garden is approximately five feet deep, with spaces within the stone and soil that can store stormwater. Hardy plants in the garden promotes increased water capacity.

Each rain garden has the capacity to collect and absorb up to 2,500 US gallons of stormwater each time it rains, thereby reducing the volume of stormwater runoff draining into Jamaica Bay.

It is estimated that the 200 rain gardens will capture more than 20 million gallons of stormwater runoff volume annually. Over the last several years, more than 4,000 rain gardens have been built across the city.All Posts

Quotable Quotes

“Southeast Queens has dealt with flooding for decades,” New York City Councilman I. Daneek Miller said. “We’re glad to see DEP using their full toolbox of flood mitigation measures to alleviate this persistent problem for our residents, and look forward to seeing their full implementation throughout Cambria Heights and Queens Village. Our residents deserve an enhanced quality of life, and any efforts to reduce the burden that homeowners in our community face is welcome.”

“We are investing $1.9 billion to combat flooding and improve the quality of life for residents and businesses in southeast Queens,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “Stormwater management in New York City requires a multi-faceted approach, which is why we are building out a comprehensive drainage system as well as green infrastructure, such as rain gardens, to naturally absorb stormwater.”.

“Southeast Queens has been plagued for generations with flooding. There are many factors that are the cause of this problem; but its residents have still suffered with their homes and streets being overrun with water whenever there is a storm,” Community Board 13 District Manager Mark McMillan said. “The de Blasio administration, through the Department of Environmental Protection, has presently allocated $1.9 billion for various projects, big and small, that address flooding issues. Rain gardens are an example of an environmentally friendly way that both beautifies communities while providing drainage in flood prone areas.”

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