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Alley Creek Environmental Restoration

Queens, New York<br style='line-height:2px'>New York City Department of Environmental Protection

HAKS provided construction management and inspection services for a New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) project to restore wetlands, reintroduce local plant life to a 16-acre section of Alley Creek Park in Queens and reduce combined sewer overflows (CSO). 

The $24.5 million project is the third stage of NYCDEP’s overall effort to improve water quality in Alley Creek and Little Neck Bay. It included construction of the East River CSO Retention Facilities in Alley Creek, which will hold up to 5 million gallons of storm and wastewaters, thus greatly reducing sewer overflows. Restoration work involved new plantings and remediated wetlands to help absorb storm water runoff and improve the overall ecology and water quality of Alley Creek. 

The restoration included construction of 8 acres of tidal wetlands, and 8 acres of coastal grassland and shrub land habitat. In restoring the wetlands, tidal marsh land elevations were raised to sustainable levels by placing 8,200 cubic yards of sand, and 320,000 2-inch smooth cordgrass plugs were planted. An additional 7,100 cubic yards of topsoil were placed and seeded with a combination of meadow grasses and wildflowers. After the seeding was completed, nearly 2,000 trees and shrubs were planted. A small freshwater spring was uncovered during the restoration and a freshwater planting mix was incorporated into the design to further increase the biodiversity of native plant and animal habitat. The restored parkland supports habitat for horseshoe crabs, wading shorebirds, egrets and ospreys. The location provides a view of the intertidal wetland setting and an opportunity to observe wildlife.