Rain gardens and infiltration basins to reduce flooding in southeast Queens

On November 25, 2020, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that work has been completed on the construction of 170 specially designed curbside rain gardens and infiltration basins in the southeast Queens neighborhoods of Queens Village, Wayanda and Cambria Heights that have reduced roadway flooding and improved safety.

Rain garden in Rego Park, Queens. These installations have the capacity to collect and absorb up to 2,500 gallons of water during a rainstorm. PHOTO: NYCWATER


Each installation has the capacity to collect and absorb up to 2,500 gallons of stormwater during each rainstorm and it is estimated that in total they will capture over 17 million gallons of stormwater annually. There are currently more than 10,000 green infrastructure installations, either completed or in construction, across the city.

“We are investing $1.9 billion to combat flooding and improve the quality of life for residents and businesses in southeast Queens,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Stormwater management in New York City requires a multi-faceted approach, which is why we are building out a comprehensive drainage system as well as green infrastructure, including rain gardens, to naturally absorb stormwater.”

Rain gardens improve the environment by allowing rain to be naturally absorbed into the ground instead of flowing into the sewer system.

To date, more than 4,000 rain gardens have been built within the streets and sidewalks of New York City, with approximately 5,500 more in construction now and thousands more planned for the next several years.

If you have questions about rain gardens in your neighborhood, call 718-595-7599 or email raingardens@dep.nyc.gov.

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