BROOKLYN - A project to overhaul a long-neglected basin area is finally complete.
The Paerdegat Basin area was used as a makeshift dumping ground for years. Now, it has been transformed into an ecology park.
"This represents a major transformation not only for the basin tributary, but also for Jamaica Bay," says John McLaughlin, of the Department for Environmental Protection.
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The basin is now populated with a variety of native plants designed to educate the community on what the area resembled before human settlement.
"In addition to restoring the habitat, there's now a viewshed that's opened up to see the water," McLaughlin says.
The restoration project also includes a system to prevent excess sewage water from flowing into the basin during heavy rainstorms.
The process of dredging the dirty sediment also contributes to a better environment for the community, reducing odors that sometimes plagued the area.
Public access to the park still hinges on the Department of Environmental Protection passing over control to the Parks Department. Officials say there are ongoing discussions for the handover, but there is no word yet on a timeframe.