Norton Basin Edgemere Stewardship Group


After the devastating storm Sandy in 2012 some hard decisions had to be made. The house is slated to be returned to mother nature and The Norton Basin Edgemere Stewardship Group has ceased to exist.


When we moved to Far Rockaway in 2002, the portion of Jamaica Bay nearest our house was mostly a garbage dump; trash would wash up along the marshes and some residents even tossed their refuse there.

To Quote E.O Wilson "I think most people ... want to do something..." and they can "from just being locally active in saving a—woodland along a nearby river or—regionally in—allying yourself with a—department of environment, or one of the conservation organizations—which works locally—to ensure that a certain biologically rich area or wetland is set aside as a park and a reserve rather than being turned over to developers."

Thus the Norton Basin Edgemere Stewardship came to be. Our mission was to halt the further destruction of the wetland of the 100 feet buffer-zone in the Eastern region of Jamaica Bay by encroaching development. With the ultimate goal to initiate a comprehensive restoration effort in partnership with NYC DEP, NY DEC and the NYC Parks resources group to establish a wetland sanctuary along the shores of Norton Basin and Conch/Little Bay.

We maintained the wetland buffer zone and the upland area along the south shore of Norton Basin at Edgemere and along Michaelis Bayswater Park at Jamaica Bay. As we performed stewardship tasks—mostly removing debris and invasive plant species—we educated ourselves by identifying plant species, butterflies and other critters. We also taught local citizens and officials about the value of this low and high marsh area that serves as a rain and high water buffer zone in addition to providing a habitat for many fish and birds species during spring and fall migration.

Closing Loops

    The Norton Basin Edgemere Stewardship Group thanks the following for their moral and financial suport:

  • The Citizens for NYC who awarded the Norton Basin Edgemere Stewardship Group a 2006 New Yorkers for Better Neighborhoods award. This award enabled us to keep going with out continueous tasks of removing debris from the wetland.
  • Jamaica Bay Guardian of the American Littoral Society, who rescued us from the sanitation police when we stood in front of mindless destruction by machinery.
  • Jamaica Bay Research & Management Information Network
  • The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation whose grant enabled us to expand our territory and thus create the Norton Basin Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Some Accomplishments

  • Shorebirds replace the garbage along the Norton Basin Shoreline.
  • Native vegetation such as golden rod replace invasive species along Norton Avenue.
  • Fellow neighbors buy-in to the success of the project.