Stewart International Airport Vernal Pools | New York, US

When Stewart International Airport access needed improvement, NYDOT hired WSP to mitigate the impact on area vernal pools and their inhabitants. 


Location

  • New York, USA

Client

  • New York State Department of Transportation

Newburgh, NY, airport upgrade helps conserve vernal pools

Vernal pools are temporary pools of water that can provide habitat for plants and animals. The word “vernal” means spring, and the pools are so named because they are often deepest during that season. Amphibians are well-suited for vernal pools because fish, which can be predatory, cannot normally survive in these pools. Several species of frogs and salamanders are dependent upon vernal pools for reproduction and the persistence of each population of these species is linked to vernal pools.

Challenge
Improved access was needed for the Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. To ensure that the upgrades would be made without harming the local ecosystem of nearby Stewart State Forest, the New York State Department of Transportation selected WSP to mitigate the impacts of the construction project.

Solution
WSP’s mitigation plan was developed in collaboration with biologists from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. WSP conducted biological assessments and planned and designed 12 vernal pool sites and seven amphibian barrier and wildlife passages. The recommendations were used to establish guidelines for appropriate construction practices in mitigating impacts to vernal pool habitats. A long-term monitoring plan was also prepared and implemented by WSP following construction of the mitigation features.