Flushing Bay will join the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek as one of the latest New York waterways to get a much-needed purge. After years of stalling, the city is finally planning to begin dredging work on the putrid bay located near Citi Field and Laguardia Airport, reports Gothamist.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the projected $34 million cleanup which is to be completed in phases that will likely carry on for decades. In fact, could take as long as until 2042 to complete if things go according to the DEP’s plan.
The first phase will focus on decommissioning the ten sewage outflows that spill into the bay. Next, the DEP plans to create a three acre marsh and mudflat area to help filter the water. Ultimately, the goal is to build a 2.5 mile tunnel and “dewatering” station that would divert sewage away from the bay and into a pumping system for processing but that could cost as much as $5.7 billion and has not received approval from the state.
A year-long study conducted by scientists revealed that 1.45 billion gallons of sewage are emptied into the bay from ten sewer outflows, highway and airport runoff, over-flooded storm drains, and an onslaught of other contributors. The water is so contaminated that scientists have reported fecal bacteria levels at 30 times above the federal government’s safety threshold. The result is an odor so bad that neighborhood residents can only compare it to the smell of rotten eggs, not to mention the occasional condom and feces spotted by boaters. It’s safe to say, this is a much-need clean-up effort.