Floating Grass Raft Project of LaGuardia College Environmental Science program. 

Image credit M. Mulally 2018


Every year, the City's combined sewer system discharges nearly 200 million gallons of polluted stormwater runoff  mixed with untreated sewage (CSO) into the dutch kills tributary of newtown creek.

SWIM is working on a community action plan model for citizen- driven waterway improvement projects.

We've teamed up with our member organizations NYC Soil and Water Conservation District, Newtown Creek Alliance, Green Shores NYC, and LaGuardia College to develop a community driven action plan for improving water quality in Dutch Kills.


In early 2018, we met with elected officials, NYC DEP, DOT, Parks departments, NYDEC, LaGuardia College and other key stakeholders to advise them of our plan and build a feasible priority project list that can be implemented over time. 


In early 2019 we met with local stakeholders and community groups to inventory all the assets and existing conditions in the project area, review and discuss our priority project list, and initiate ideas for the Getting to Zero CSO's in Dutch Kills Action Plan.


In the summer 2019 we worked with two groups of artists on public art projects to build awareness of the action plan.


In 2020 we'll publish the proposed Action Plan and share it with stakeholders.

The NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection recently installed a large marshland restoration project along the banks of the tributary to help improve water quality and enhance the natural habitat. They are monitoring the project over the next few years to see how the grasses impact water quality in the Dutch Kills tributary.

The Getting to Zero in Dutch Kills project is informed by community recommendations in two vision plans published in 2018: Bridging the Creek, and the Dutch Kills section of the Newtown Creek Vision Plan as well as an asset map depicting the project area's capacity to house Green Infrastructure solutions for improved stormwater management in the neighborhoods that surround Dutch Kills tributary.

Newtown Creek Alliance and LaGuardia College monitor water quality in the Dutch Kills tributary and lead shoreline planting projects along the banks of the Dutch Kills. LaGuardia College professors and students work on ecological restoration of the waterway by installing  floating grass rafts like the once  depicted above.  

The Dutch Kills branch of Newtown Creek is a former maritime artery surrounded by residential towers, commercial and industrial businesses, a community garden, and LaGuardia College which makes it a perfect spot for educational and recreational opportunities. 

The Getting To Zero in Dutch Kills is a project of SWIM Coalition in collaboration with NYC Soil and Water Conservation District, GreenShores NYC, Newtown Creek Alliance and Riverkeeper. The project is funded by a grant from the Hudson River Foundation-Newtown Creek Fund. 

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SWIM Coalition is sponsored by the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District and Riverkeeper, Inc. Your donations to SWIM's work are tax deductible under the IRS code170(c)3. 

Donations to SWIM are managed by Riverkeeper, Inc.