Under the terms of the 1992 natural resource damages settlement, the responsible
parties agreed to replace the deteriorating bulkhead at the site and provide
$50,000 for primary restoration at the site, $50,000 for off-site enhancement,
and $60,000 for monitoring. As noted previously, it was later determined that
on-site restoration was not practical and the funds originally proposed to be
used for on-site restoration were directed to the Bar Beach Lagoon restoration
project to enhance degraded salt marsh and coastal shoreline habitat.
The one-acre salt marsh and shoreline Bar Beach Lagoon restoration project,
located across the harbor from the Superfund Site, was the product of
collaboration among the Trustees, the Town of North Hempstead, the responsible
parties, and the local community. NOAA coordinated the restoration effort and
Community-based Restoration Program augmented the settlement funds to
implement the one-acre project. The Town of North Hempstead was awarded a grant
from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund in 2006 to fund supplemental salt marsh
restoration efforts in Bar Beach Lagoon. Construction was completed in Summer
The Bar Beach Lagoon project accomplished the excavation of more than 3,000
cubic yards of rubble, rock, tires, timber debris, and gravel from the
400-foot-long shoreline. Local volunteers planted more than 6,000 low and high
marsh plants [smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), salt meadow
grass (Spartina patens), and spike grass (Distichlis spicata)]
in 2003 and over 2,000 plants in the high marsh and spring tide zones in 2004.
Coastal vegetation [switch grass (Panicum virgatum), seaside goldenrod
(Solidago sempervirens), groundsel tree (Baccharis halimifolia),
high tide bush (Iva frutescens), beach plum (Prunus maritima)]
were also planted. Exclusion fencing, stakes, line and plastic tape were
installed to keep geese and other plant grazers from entering the site while
the marsh and coastal grasses re-established.
A five-year restoration monitoring program was also implemented, consisting of annual vegetation surveys (plant species; percent cover; stem height/density; signs of disease, predation, and disturbance), biannual surveys of benthic invertebrates and fish for species composition, abundance, and richness, and frequent surveys of bird abundance and diversity. To date, all monitoring has been conducted by the Trustees or their consultant, except for bird monitoring, which has been conducted by a local Audubon volunteer. After five years of monitoring, the restoration site met the performance criteria for vegetative cover and survival. Mean vegetative cover in year five was 90.6%. Success metrics required 85% vegetative cover of the restored area within five years of initial planting; minimal (< 10%) re-establishment of common reed (Phragmites australis) and other undesirable invasive species; 90% survival of salt marsh and shoreline vegetation after two full growing seasons; and that fish, benthic invertebrates, and avian species abundance, richness, and composition demonstrate a strong positive trend toward and not significantly different from a reference marsh.
Monitoring data suggest that fish density and abundance
are equal or greater at the restored site than the reference site and that
diversity and species richness are comparable. The benthic invertebrate
community appears to be more diverse at the restoration site, although
abundance is considerably lower due to the prevalence of well-established
ribbed mussel beds at the reference site. Bird species richness and diversity
were higher at the restoration site than the reference site but abundance was
lower. These differences were attributed to limited availability of habitat and
the presence of flocking species at the reference site.
Final Restoration Plan and
Environmental Assessment: Applied Environmental Services (Shore Realty)
Superfund Site, September 2002