RIOC is committed to preserving our native wildlife on our island, particularly at Southpoint Park. So are the other federal and state agencies that are responsible for issuing the permits that allow this project to take place. That is why we hired Langan to design a project that would improve conditions in the park for all the species that call Roosevelt Island home.
But it is important for everyone to remember that this project is not just about a riverfront pathway. The Southpoint Park seawall is failing and in dire need of immediate repair. Furthermore, the soil between the shoreline and the steel fence is heavily contaminated and must be remediated once the seawall repair work begins. This is according to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) regulations. These two conditions must be addressed over the next year, meaning the area along the east and west shorelines of Southpoint Park will be disturbed anyway. Please note that work will not take place until after spawning season is over in July.
RIOC, in cooperation with our various state/federal partners at NYS DEC, FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers, has decided to take this opportunity to improve both the natural habitat and pedestrian access to our Island’s beautiful riverfront. Remember, better waterfront access is a high priority for both New York City and New York State. The design featured in the Langan presentation will not permanently remove natural habitat. Nothing is being paved over. If anything, it will be better than before.
Once the project is completed next year, Southpoint’s decaying infrastructure will be repaired and the soil that is harmful to our beloved wildlife will have been removed. The result will be a safer, cleaner place where our fish can swim, our birds can nest, and families can walk safely while enjoying incredible views of Manhattan. To view the presentation for yourself, please click here.