At a Glance

A community-driven alternatives analysis yields a precedent-setting nature-based approach for retrofitting constrained waterfront sites throughout New York City.

Project Description

Over the past century, Flushing Creek had become heavily channelized, with hardened shorelines and limited access to the water. Riverkeeper and Guardians of Flushing Bay (GoFB) sought to restore ecological function and integrity to Flushing Creek while also providing a model, nature-based design for other constrained waterfront sites throughout New York City. They chose the waterfront greenway at SkyView Mall as their pilot site.

Biohabitats was contracted to conduct an assessment to identify project constraints, evaluate infrastructure, and develop design alternatives. Results from the site analysis included insights related to Flushing Creek, as well as the site’s soils, stormwater, drainage infrastructure, and local ecological benchmarks. The team then developed and explored four innovative green infrastructure retrofit alternatives, examining factors such as permitting requirements, constructability, site suitability, operations and maintenance requirements, and replicability. Biohabitats prepared detailed assessments of each alternative, which included descriptions and site-specific considerations.

Based on the analysis and input from community stakeholders such as dragon boaters, university professors, and social and economic development advocates, the team selected a living shoreline as the preferred alternative to progress to 30% concept-level design. Biohabitats produced a report summarizing the design process and highlighting the critical design parameters, potential permitting requirements, rough order of magnitude costs, and maintenance considerations. The 30% design package was used to secure funding to advance the project to final design and permitting, which Biohabitats is leading. The project will include in-water habitat enhancements and shoreline plantings, with the target of creating a design that is replicable throughout the City.



Hudson River


Flushing Bay

Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Coastal, Ecological Restoration, Urban Ecology, Water


Riverkeeper/Guardians of Flushing Bay


New York, New York, United States