Bronx River Watershed Restoration Activity
The landscapes, watersheds and estuaries within New York City offer large opportunities to use stormwater to sustain the City’s ecological systems and enhance both economic and aesthetic value. Coupling stormwater capture with innovative approaches to greening streets and neighborhoods filters stormwater and decreases combined sewer discharge while creating habitat and increasing biodiversity.
This strategy for stormwater capture may be the single most effective step for improving environmental quality and increasing ecological productivity in our urbanized region. To be effective and successful though, these stormwater capture and filtration systems and estuary habitat construction programs must be firmly grounded in hydrology, soil science, and biogeochemistry. Baseline studies characterizing habitat and monitoring biodiversity are critical to document effects of present conditions and any attempts at restoration.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provided funding for the Gaia Institute to characterize and restore habitat within the Bronx River estuary and in the surrounding watershed. The Gaia Institute has taken this opportunity to integrate ecological engineering approaches with innovative habitat design, baseline monitoring, and educational outreach with these projects. This work has been carried out in accordance with the efforts and goals of the on-going Bronx River Restoration project.
The primary benefit goals of the ecological management program developed by the Gaia Institute include:
    * Increased environmental quality and aesthetics in the project location.
    * Biogeochemical pollutant removal by bringing stormwater in contact with the large effective surface area and removal mechanisms that exist in the rhizosphere-soil system.
    * Establishment of cost-effective methods for preventing stormwater from entering the combined sewer and the reduction of deleterious effects of combined sewer overflows.
    * Incorporation of stormwater in the water table and base flow of the Bronx River
As part of the Gaia Institute’s mission, each of the projects described through the links below incorporate these benefits into their design to optimize ecological benefits to the region while largely eliminating or mitigating negative environmental impacts:
Bronx River Watershed Restoration
(Photo: Aerial view of Bronx River Watershed Restoration activity location)
The Gaia Institute - 440 City Island Avenue - Bronx, NY 10464