At a Glance

A community driven alternatives analysis identifies a nature-based retrofit approach for a constrained waterfront greenway that can be applied to sites along Flushing Creek and throughout NYC.

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) were interested in creating a green infrastructure retrofit pilot to restore ecological function and integrity to Flushing Creek while 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 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. In addition to tidal and hydrodynamic assessments, Biohabitats collected and reviewed water quality data from project partners at City University of New York (CUNY). 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.

Riverkeeper/GoFB selected a living shoreline design 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. With this report and the 30% concept designs, Riverkeeper/GFB is poised to advance at the pilot at SkyView Mall and/or begin planning and designing a living shoreline project at a similar location.



Hudson River


Flushing Bay

Expertise Areas

Coastal, Urban Ecology, Water


Skyview Center; Riverkeeper/Guardians of Flushing River


New York, New York, United States