New bioswales infiltrate Maspeth

Photo Courtesy/Department of Design and Construction (DDC)

The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has been installing a system of 164 bioswales in Maspeth recently, which is scheduled for completion by this winter.

But what are bioswales, exactly?

You’ve probably walked by several of them and didn’t even notice them. According to DDC, bioswales are small natural areas, usually located on a sidewalk near a stormwater catch basin, that uses extremely porous engineered soil and a variety of plants that absorb and divert stormwater from the streets and sewages.

“Bioswales are a cost-effective way to boost the City’s resilience against flooding and improve harbor water quality in a sustainable, environmentally conscious manner,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Pena-Mora. “Bioswales not only beautify a neighborhood, but also strengthen its capacity for storm management and open opportunities for labor usage by reducing pollution and toxins present in runoff.”

Why are they important to Maspeth? Because they reduce the runoff and pollution that fill up nearby Newtown Creek, which has already had its share of industrial waste. It’s important enough for the city to invest $3.8 million for this project.

By the winter Maspeth will have 164 of these bioswales, along with new sidewalks and curbs in many areas, DDC said.

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