• Louis Berger employee conducting environmental testing and assessments
  • Louis Berger employee conducting environmental testing and assessment
  • Ecological assessment survey being conducted at Saw Mill Creek
  • Threatened/endangered species analysis being performed at Saw Mill Creek
  • Threatened/endangered species analysis being performed at Saw Mill Creek
  • Louis Berger employee conducting an ecological assessment at Saw Mill Creek
  • Saw Mill Creek wetland restoration
  • Louis Berger employee conducting environmental testing and assessment at Saw Mill Creek
Restoring New York City‘s first wetland mitigation bank

Saw Mill Creek, on the west shore of Staten Island, has been threatened by factors such as illegal dumping and invasive weeds for years. During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the creek suffered from severe flooding, which only worsened the degradation. A strategy was needed to protect the 68-acre Saw Mill Creek wetlands, while also fostering sustainable waterfront development. These wetlands are located in an area with a mix of industrial land adjacent to salt marsh and coastal forests.

Challenge
Louis Berger was chosen by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with other city, state and federal agencies, to provide permitting and wetland restoration design for the Saw Mill Creek Marsh project, the city's first wetland mitigation bank. This pilot project, part of the Mitigation and Restoration Strategies for Habitat and Ecological Sustainability Initiative, sought to:

  • Improve water and sediment quality.
  • Increase plant and wildlife diversity.
  • Improve storm surge protection on the west shore of Staten Island and enhance its capacity to handle flooding.

Solution
Louis Berger developed an ecological assessment methodology and conducted surveying and environmental testing, including sediment sampling and wetland functional assessments. A vegetation analysis and a threatened/endangered species analysis were also performed. Louis Berger then provided a feasibility study, construction cost estimates, a construction schedule, and restoration design plans for emergent wetlands, scrub-shrub wetlands, freshwater forested wetlands, open water channels/pools, mudflat habitat, and uplands.