This draft wetlands strategy is written in accordance with Local Law 31 of 2009 (see Appendix C). Signed by Mayor Bloomberg on May 26, 2009, this law requires the City to create a strategy with the overall goals to conserve, protect, enhance, stabilize, restore, and expand wetlands and associated buffer areas in the city. The law also calls for a strategy to avoid and minimize wetlands losses and achieve no net loss of wetlands in the city; standardize and improve the management of wetlands and associated buffer areas; and balance the needs for wetlands protection with other, competing land uses that are in the public interest.
In particular, Local Law 31 and this draft wetlands strategy focus on the question of how to better protect small vulnerable wetlands parcels. New York City Wetlands: Regulatory Gaps and Other Threats found that existing Federal and State regulations protect New York City’s tidal wetlands and its large freshwater wetlands from threats related to land use and development. However, freshwater wetlands smaller than 12.4 acres are not protected by State law and are vulnerable to determinations that they are outside of the scope of Federal protection. This draft strategy advances the City’s understanding of the quantity and ownership of these vulnerable wetlands and proposes strategies that will enhance protection.
This draft wetlands strategy has been released to the public on January 18, 2012. The City will accept public comments on this draft strategy through February 18, 2012 at firstname.lastname@example.org.