Being that Solar One is physically close to the water, the condition of that water is anything but an abstract notion to us. Water quality testing is one of our Education team’s most popular field trip offerings, we have a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) pipe running diagonally under the blacktop, and we host some of the Billion Oyster Project‘s little bivalve charges. Students who come to Stuy Cove can find out exactly what’s in our water on any given day.
And while most days, we generally do find at least a little bit of bacteria, a new report from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows that remarkable improvements have been made in recent decades.
Among the findings in the report are that the waterways have shed bacteria, gained dissolved oxygen that marine life thrives on and experienced a drop in nitrogen, which deoxidizes the water, and are now the cleanest they’ve been since World War I- around the beginning of the Industrial Age.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said the harbors have benefitted from upgrades to the city’s wastewater system, which prevent excess storm water and waste from flowing into the oceans. City Hall said it will have added 4,000 curbside gardens, which are designed to absorb rainwater, by the end of 2017. Under its green infrastructure plan, another 300 are slated to be built in 2018.