Environmentalists release plan to save NYC wetlands
Environmental activists say if New Yorkers are not careful, we could lose the wetlands in our state forever.
In New York City, wetlands like marshes, swamps, bogs and fens are home to hundreds of species of birds, plants and fish.
Across the five boroughs, wetlands are disappearing. In fact, New York City has lost 99% of its freshwater wetlands since the 1600s, and the city Parks officials say climate change is making matters worse.
"So when you think about the icebergs melting and sea level rising, that's impacting marshes too and they are drowning," said Jennifer Greenfeld, of NYC Parks & Recreation.
That means places like Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx or parts of Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn and Queens could one day be gone forever. But park officials and environmental protection groups say it's not too late.
On Wednesday, they released a plan to save NYC wetlands over the next 30 years.
Advocates say wetlands protect the communities living near them, like Castle Hill in the Bronx.
The new plan includes steps like removing debris from within wetlands, expanding community involvement and restoring over 200 acres of marshes.
Bridge Park in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx is one of the first sites that the department plans to restore.
Advocates say in the meantime, don't litter.
"If it's on the street, it's going to end up in the waterway," said Greenfeld.