Hundreds of Staten Islanders marched down Forest Avenue on April 24th to protest the projected BJ’s Wholesale Store, which is slated to be built on a portion of the Graniteville Wetlands.
Why Are the Wetlands Important?
Wetlands ecosystems not only provide shelter and homes for various wildlife; they also help limit shoreline erosions and flood protection. The Graniteville Wetlands protected the North Shore of Staten Island from flooding during Superstorm Sandy.
Years of Pushback
Activist groups have been pushing back on the proposed BJs site since before Superstorm Sandy. Sandy delayed the and last Saturday’s march was one last big effort to make local voices heard. A decision on the fate of Staten Island’s Wetlands is imminent and expected no later than May 1st. Click here to read Plea for the Fifth’s in-depth article about the controversy surrounding the local Wetlands and the attempts to preserve them.
The March to Save the Graniteville Wetlands in Pictures:
The Save the Graniteville Wetlands march was a culmination of efforts by community organizations and local activists. The crowd of activists gathered at Forest and Richmond Avenues in Graniteville and marched along Forest Avenue to the empty UA Theater, which is adjacent to the wetlands. Here they held a post-march rally, where local leaders such as Gabriella Velardi-Ward, spoke to the crowd and entertainers like Karlus Trapp (below) provided entertainment.