This funding will pay for the ongoing mowing and management of phragmites in Ocean Breeze and Great Kills parks. This initiative is part of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for the East Shore of Staten Island. The CWPP was developed in 2010 by an interagency team—consisting of NYC Parks, NYC DEP, NPS, NYS DEC, FDNY, and elected officials—to protect East Shore citizens, homes and infrastructure from wildfire. The plan was abandoned for a short after Hurricane Sandy, but was reinvigorated at the urging of BP Oddo.
“I am very pleased to see this phragmite management program expanding further along the East Shore,” said Borough President Oddo. “My office has made it a priority to advocate for this preventative measure to protect Staten Islanders from as much danger and damage as possible. Thank you to the administration for funding this important safety program.”
“Those outside the Eastern Shore of Staten Island might be surprised to learn that such a wildfire risk exists in New York City,” said Commissioner Ricciardone. “But residents of the Eastern Shore are all too aware of the dangers they face. Our goal is to keep these folks safe by getting rid of the Phragmites and making room for native plants that are more resistant to wildfire.”
There will be a 100-foot wildfire buffer created around the perimeter of fields overgrown with phragmites. Creating this buffer allows native plants, which do not pose such a fire risk, to regrow and reduce the risk of wildfires. Mowing will begin in late 2018.