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Spring Creek South

Storm Resilience and Ecosystem Restoration Project

Project Summary

The Spring Creek South Storm Resilience and Ecosystem Restoration project will reduce the risk of storm damage and flooding in the Howard Beach neighborhood by creating a protective berm and restoring over 225 acres of wetland and coastal forest. By reshaping the landscape and adding nature-based resilience features, Spring Creek South will complement other storm resilience projects in the area to manage this region's vulnerability to coastal storms.

Spring Creek South Project aerial view

Site Description

Spring Creek South is located on the north shore of Jamaica Bay to the south of the Belt Parkway. The neighboring Howard Beach community of Queens, New York, was devastated during Superstorm Sandy with severe floods and damage to property and critical infrastructure. Prior to Superstorm Sandy, historical actions had profoundly degraded the salt marsh community and habitat at Spring Creek and left the site vulnerable to invasive species. Currently, the site is dominated by the common reed Phragmites australis, which poses a fire risk due to its quick growth and dense biomass. Spring Creek South is managed by the National Park Service and is part of Gateway National Recreation Area.


DEC has been awarded a grant from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (link leaves DEC's website) for the restoration of Spring Creek South. These funds will be used to convert this area from its current conditions to a coastal storm resilience tool using green infrastructure and nature-based features, including salt marshes, wetlands, tidal inlets, and upland forest. The US Army Corps of Engineers is serving as project contractor, and with an architecture and engineering team, is developing the design for this project. This project is designed to complement other flood reduction projects in the Howard Beach and Jamaica Bay areas, and is consistent with the Gateway National Recreation Area General Management Plan. (link leaves DEC's website)

Healthy Salt Marsh

Restoration Benefits

This project will restore native habitat at Spring Creek South to reduce the risk from coastal storms by using green infrastructure and nature-based features to protect neighboring communities. Salt marsh consisting of Spartina alterniflora will stabilize sediment at the shoreline, while berms and coastal forests will provide flood protection and buffer habitat. These habitats will increase the ecological value of the site in addition to providing resilience benefits. Additionally, the removal of Phragmites australis will increase the ability for native vegetation to colonize the site, and reduce fire risk in the park.

Project Documents

Contact Us

Project Manager: Lisa Baron, US Army Corps of Engineers
(917) 790-8306