Huntington, Citizens Campaign for the Environment launch social media educational video
The Town Huntington and the Citizens Campaign for the Environment today released a video illustrating the recently completed rain garden bioswale at Centerport Beach, a project aimed at filtering 80 percent of the stormwater runoff that has been polluting Centeport Harbor.
The three-and-a-half-minute video, produced by the Town’s multimedia department, demonstrates how a bioswale works and uses time-lapse photography to show the construction at Centerport Beach. Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone and Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the CCE, are featured in the video describing the project and the benefits of green infrastructure.
Completion and publication of the video was part of the grant obtained from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund that paid for half of the $276,210 project. The Town is partnering with the CCE on a public information campaign to showcase the Centerport Beach project as a model for using green infrastructure to protect local waters. CCE will be preparing an on-site information kiosk about the project and will join the Town in disseminating the video through various social media outlets. The video will be viewable on both the Town and CCE’s websites, Facebook pages and YouTube channels.
“This video helps people understand the reason for the Centerport Beach project and shows them the process that created it. I hope residents will view the video and then be inspired to visit Centerport Beach to look at it in person, which is the final step in understanding how this will help significantly reduce pollution entering the harbor,” Supervisor Petrone said.
“Polluted storm water run-off can close beaches, increase harmful algae blooms and deposit unwanted sediment into our beloved waterways. Creating rain gardens, bio-swales, and installing permeable pavement are simply effective actions municipalities and members of the public can take to reduce polluted storm water from contaminating our waters. We are excited to be a part of this project and hope other municipalities will replicate the use of green infrastructure in their parking lots,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
The Town created the bioswale on what had been 6,900 square feet of parking lot at the Town beach and included planting 75 trees and eight types of native plants as well as installing paths made of permeable pavers. The height of the curbing – lower on the south side and higher on the north – was set to trap stormwater before it runs into Centerport Harbor.
The bioswale and permeable pavers capture the runoff. Once the water enters the bioswale, it slowly seeps into the soil and, as it filters through the roots of the plantings in the bioswale, a majority of the pollutants are removed. The water then undergoes a secondary filtration through a layer of sand, gravel or rock.
Among the expected benefits of the project are a reduction in the number and severity of harmful algal blooms that have been the direct cause of hypoxia in the harbor, and the closure of shellfish beds from commercial harvesting due to the presence of a particular bloom of algae. Cleaner water entering the harbor will also result in a reduction in the number of and severity of pathogen levels that have closed area beaches to swimming and closed shellfish beds to harvesting by commercial baymen whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the degradation of water quality.