Thursday, March 1, 2018

Fwd: Ridgewood Reservoir Call to Action

From BBC President Dennis:

Sent: Thu, Mar 1, 2018 2:56 pm
Subject: Ridgewood Reservoir Call to Action

Dear Friends,

Please take a moment to read this message from Steve Nanz and show your support for preserving Ridgewood Reservoir by writing a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation and attending the public meeting on March 5th

Thank You,

Dennis Hrehowsik
President Brooklyn Bird Club 

Dear Supporters of the Preservation of Ridgewood Reservoir,

On Thursday, February 22, 2018, we received the excellent news that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) had rendered an extremely favorable draft determination on the wetland status of Ridgewood Reservoir. This report can be downloaded at:

Though some celebration may be warranted, the fight to preserve Ridgewood Reservoir is not yet over. We need your help as we enter the home stretch. This preliminary assessment is now open to public comment. The comment period ends on March 22.PLEASE let your voice be heard by sending your approval to DEC Regional Natural Resources Supervisor Ken Scarlatelli and copying DEC Commissioner, Basil Seggos.

As was expected, this long awaited assessment delineates nearly all of both Basin 1 (east basin) and Basin 2 (middle basin) as freshwater wetland. The big surprise was that most of the southern half of Basin 3 (west basin) had also been delineated as wetland! Basin 3 was under the greatest threat of being developed in previous plans by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation (NYCDPR).  For years, staff of both DEC and the NYCDPR disputed that wetland habitat even existed in Basin 3.

It is critically important that we show support for a formal determination to map all three basins at Ridgewood Reservoir as Class 1 fresh water wetland with emphasis on Basin 3. It is not impossible for Basin 3 to be excluded from the final wetland delineation. Indeed, the uphill fight to preserve the Reservoir has been fraught with unexpected twists and turns. Recall that even as the sports facility proposal for Basin 3 appeared to be fading, an unnecessary plan was nearly implemented which required the dewatering of Basin 3 and building a road through the Basin 3 wetland as a part of a dam reclassification program. Were it not for your support then, the wetland in Basin 3 would now be gone and at a cost to tax payers of a projected 6 million dollars.

In addition to sending letters of support, please try to attend the March 5meeting at 7pm at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Glendale and please pass this along to others. DEC and NYCDPR need to see that support has not waned over the years and that it is as vigorous as ever.

Last year NYCDPR drafted an application for Critical Environmental Area designation. The wetland in Basin 3 was omitted from the mapping. We successfully argued for a delay in submitting the application pending DEC wetland determination. So not only will this determination affect protection of Basin 3 as a wetland, it will also affect protections offered by the Critical Environmental Area designation.

Thank you for all your past support without which we could not have achieved these near impossible successes.  With these protections in place, I think we can declare total victory and Ridgewood Reservoir may finally be developed as a Nature Preserve, Historic Site, and Educational Resource without threat of future exploitation.

A suggested letter of support is available at For additional information visit

Addresses for DEC:

Kenneth Scarlatelli, Natural Resource Supervisor
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
4740 21st Street,
Long Island City, NY 11101

Basil Seggos, Commissioner
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-1011

Best Regards,

Steve Nanz