As part of its mission to protect and improve the land, air, and water of Connecticut and Long Island Sound, the nonprofit Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound engages communities in projects to restore degraded ecosystems and reduce water pollution. One such project was the retrofit of a parking lot in Long Island, New York’s Sunken Meadow State Park. The retrofit, part of a larger effort to restore the park’s degraded marsh ecosystem and enhance coastal resilience, featured bioswales, tree filter strips, and constructed wetlands to treat runoff from an 18-acre reconstructed parking lot. To ensure that the green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) features were built as designed and smoothly integrated into parking lot and hardscape construction, Save the Sound turned to Biohabitats.
Biohabitats began by performing a peer review of the construction documents to evaluate constructability and plant suitability for the unique site conditions. This included monitoring site groundwater levels and providing recommendations for vegetation selection based on observed hydrologic regimes. Throughout the construction process, Biohabitats supervised the installation of the GSI components, ensuring that the general contractor followed the detailed plans and specifications associated with the stormwater management components. Biohabitats also advised Save the Sound and New York State Parks on submittal review, requests for information, and construction sequencing. To ensure successful long-term performance of the GSI, Biohabitats developed materials to guide New York State Parks crews in the maintenance of the GSI.
Despite the challenges of an accelerated construction schedule and site conditions associated with shallow groundwater and herbivory, the project was successfully constructed on time and within budget.