VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The ribbon cutting is on Thursday, but on Wednesday CBS2 got a sneak peak of the Brook Road Park wetland restoration.
The project is designed to help residents whose flood-prone homes are located along Jamaica Bay and Hook Creek, Jennifer McLogan reported.
Hook Creek in Valley Stream is undergoing a renaissance, of sorts.
“For me, it’s a peaceful walk almost every day,” Peter Higgins said.
Higgins likes to stroll the new pathway to Brook Road Park, where turtles bask in the sun, cormorants look for fish and crabs, gardens attract pollinating bees, and more.
“There’s a lot of butterflies and dragonflies,” one little girl said.
It’s the result of the Town of Hempstead‘s nearly $4 million state grant that is paying for the building of vinyl bulkheads and raising shorelines 7 feet as part of a new flood prevention plan.
“They also raised the tide level so that we are not getting flooding anymore,” said Bob Brown of the Mill Brook Civic Association.
Brown said the creek corridor had never recovered from Superstorm Sandy. Wetlands help stabilize the shoreline and homes from the water’s impact because deep plant root systems keep the soil more intact.
“We have restored some of our marshlands, which will serve as an extra barrier,” Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said.
Gillen said tidal wetlands and marshes create a natural flood-prevention barrier, something Valley Stream homeowners have needed during surges.
“Definitely storms, high tides, during rainy times,” a local resident said.
The project has relied on the efforts of many and real ingenuity to keep flooding at bay.
Advocates tout the project as a blueprint for a brighter environmental future.