Mamaroneck River Restoration Set in Motion

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We received this  from the County Executive’s office: 

“Westchester County has been awarded a $41,000 federal grant to design the restoration of a section of the Mamaroneck River corridor in Saxon Woods Park in the towns of Harrison and Mamaroneck, County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced today.

The grant, from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the Long Island Sound Study, focuses on restoration of a 700-foot section of the river near the vehicular bridge into the park’s southern entrance off Mamaroneck Avenue. A related project currently under construction is restoring the river corridor northward from the bridge for approximately 1,600 feet to the Hutchinson River Parkway. Together, these will result in nearly 14 acres of restored river corridor.

While the project’s main focus is to filter storm water pollutants and support greater biodiversity, it will also increase the ability of the river’s floodplain to absorb more storm water runoff that would otherwise contribute to flooding.

“The river segment is presently covered with invasive plants that have degraded water quality and adversely affect both the environment and the aesthetics of the area,” said Astorino. “This area will be cleaned up and the area replanted with appropriate native plants, grasses and shrubs. This will also, even in a small way, help to curb flooding.”

The project is one of more than three dozen storm water management and natural resources restoration projects that havebeen completed to date under the leadership of the county’s Planning Department. These projects have leveraged county funds with state and federal grants and appropriations as well as some municipal funding.

Construction on the current project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2012. This project was undertaken as part of the 2008 Long Island Sound Consent Order agreement between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the county.

After the latest project has been designed, the county will submit a second grant application next year for project construction, which is expected to be about $300,000. Construction on the new project would likely begin in 2013.

These projects are largely designed to improve water quality and absorb and store flood waters as well as to improve the appearance of project sites and enhance fish and wildlife habitats.

The Mamaroneck River corridor restoration at Saxon Woods Park will improve the appearance of the corridor along Mamaroneck Avenue and is expected to provide a natural water filter along the river before it runs into Long Island Sound.

The river segment is presently overrun with dominant invasive plants, largely porcelain berry and other vines, that have displaced native plants, including trees. The project will result in the removal of invasive and/or non-native plants. The river corridor will then be re-planted with native herbaceous and woody plants, including perennial grasses, sedges, rushes and a variety of wildflowers as well as shrubs and trees. The stream corridor will also be seeded with a native riparian seed mix.

— Photo of Mamaroneck River courtesy of June Marie Sobrito

 

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