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For Release: Saturday, November 13, 2021

New York State DEC and Nassau County Announce Winners of Bay Park Conveyance Project Microtunnel Boring Machine Naming Contest

Soon-to-be Launched MTBMs Named MARSH-MELLOW and P.O.S.E.I.D.O.N.

Congratulations to Naming Contest Winners-

Nine Students from Sheila Gunther's Sixth-Grade Class at Fulton Avenue Elementary School, Oceanside School #8

Four Students from Kristin Stea's Sixth-Grade Class at North Oceanside Road Elementary School, Oceanside School #5

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Nassau County today announced the winners of a contest to name the two Microtunnel Boring Machines (MTBM) that are being deployed to advance the Bay Park Conveyance Project. Students in grades 6 through 8 attending schools in the project corridor were invited to submit essays or short videos with proposed names inspired by local historical figures, the environment, or geography.

The winning names are:

MARSH-MELLOW, submitted by Sofia Arata, Peter DeMarco, Haiden Deodat, Thomas Doolan, Oliver Feinstein, Leo Hanratty, Brody Lucas, Gabriella Nettuno, and Nicholas Peña from Sheila Gunther's sixth-grade class at Fulton Avenue Elementary School, Oceanside School #8. MARSH-MELLOW emphasizes the words marsh and mellow to highlight unity and connection. MARSH refers to the marshlands of Bay Park, whereas MELLOW emphasizes how the Project will protect the Bay's natural ecosystems.

P.O.S.E.I.D.O.N., submitted by Rocco Fontanelli, Sophia Kenn, Amelia Valentino, and Matthew Vlahakis from Kristin Stea's sixth-grade class at North Oceanside Road Elementary School, Oceanside School #5. P.O.S.E.I.D.O.N stands for "Project of Science to Expel an Incredibly Damaging Overabundance of Nitrogen." In Greek mythology, Poseidon is referred to as the god of the sea and the protector of all aquatic features.

The naming ceremony was held at a critical project milestone, immediately before the first MTBM is lowered into a shaft to commence microtunneling to advance the Bay Park Conveyance Project, a partnership between New York State and the Nassau County Department of Public Works (NCDPW) to improve water quality and storm resiliency in Long Island's Western Bays by upgrading existing wastewater management infrastructure.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "This innovative project is on track to protect the ecosystems of Western Bays and bolster coastal resiliency. Today we are naming MARSH-MELLOW and P.O.S.E.I.D.O.N. before deploying these giant machines to start their work underground. I congratulate the winning students for their creative submissions in the naming contest and I thank all of the local students who participated. Working closely with Nassau County and the design build contractor, Western Bays Constructors Joint-Venture, we continue to advance the Bay Park Conveyance Project to protect Long Island's environment with creative solutions, bringing us another step closer to restoring the health and resiliency of Nassau County's Western Bays."

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "The naming of the MTBMs is such a momentous and fun occasion for our Project. Not only does it show our commitment to partnering with our communities, it also showcases the innovative and intelligent minds of our next generation. I am so proud of our students. We received 11 submissions and each one was creative, unique and extremely well thought out. Our children understood the objectives of the Project, which is to improve the water quality and storm surge protection along our precious South Shore while also providing lifestyle, work, play, and economic benefits to Nassau County residents, visitors, and businesses. It is a positive future; we have a lot to look forward to in the next generation of young minds. All that is left to say is 'Welcome to your Nassau County home, Marsh-Mellow and P.O.S.E.I.D.O.N.!"

Western Bays Constructors Executive Vice President Kenneth A Durkin said, "This project will have a profound impact on the community as well as the environment in Nassau County, and we are proud to be a part of it. Although only two names could be selected, all the students should be complimented for their effort, ideas and understanding of the exercise. The naming serves as an important milestone and symbolic representation of how this machine's hard work will benefit generations to come."

The practice of assigning a name to a MTBM is a widespread engineering tradition from the 16th Century when miners looked to St. Barbara, patron saint of artillerymen and miners, for protection as they worked underground. Today, naming a MTBM in advance of construction is seen as a sign of good luck for the project ahead. Thirty-five students from 6 schools participated in the contest.

MARSH-MELLOW will soon be lowered into the ground at Bay Park Shaft 2, where it will be assembled in preparation for microtunneling.

The Bay Park Conveyance Project will reduce nitrogen pollution in the Western Bays by redirecting treated water from the South Shore Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) to the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP). From Cedar Creek WPCP, the treated water will be discharged approximately three miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean via an ocean outfall pipe. A new pump station will be constructed at the existing South Shore WRF. The Project includes two microtunneling segments - one extending two miles on the west side from the South Shore WRF to Sunrise Highway, and another extending more than one and a half miles on the east side from Sunrise Highway to the Cedar Creek WPCP. The Project is also repurposing over seven miles of an existing aqueduct beneath Sunrise Highway, using a technique known as sliplining. Western Bays Constructors Joint-Venture is the design-builder for the Bay Park Conveyance Project. Project work began in March 2021, and it is expected to be complete in 2024.

To learn more, visit Bay Park Conveyance Project (leaves DEC's website).

Photos courtesy of @NYSDEC.

DEC and Nassau County with Microtunnel Boring Machine 'MARSH-MELLOW,' named by 6th grade student winners of MTBM naming contest from Fulton Avenue Elementary School, Oceanside School #8.

DEC and Nassau County with Microtunnel Boring Machine 'P.O.S.E.I.D.O.N,' named by 6th grade student winners of MTBM naming contest from North Oceanside Road Elementary School, Oceanside School #5.

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