What is under New York City?

What is under New York City?

Deep under the streets of New York City, in a massive three-dimensional tangle, are the city's critical organs: a water system, subways, trains, tunnels, sewers, drains, and electricity and cable cables. It's a huge network of pipes and pumps that keeps New York City alive and thriving.

Some people may know that there are also oil reservoirs under New York City, but they're not usually thought of as part of the city's vital infrastructure. However, oil does play a role in modern day New York because it is used in gasoline and other products. If these oil reserves were to leak or spill into the city's waterways, it would be very dangerous for humans and animals alike.

New York City is built on top of many layers of old garbage dumps and other polluted landfills. Underneath all that waste is hard bedrock that serves as an excellent barrier against contamination from above. But even with this protection, certain areas of the city have been affected by toxic chemicals from above that have seeped down through the rock into the groundwater supply.

New York City has always relied on fresh water supplies brought in by tunnels from upstate New York and Pennsylvania. Once below New York City, these waters flow through canals into man-made lakes where they are treated before being released back into the surrounding area or returned directly to the Hudson River.

Why is NYC so dirty?

During the summer, the odors of unsecured rubbish and raw sewage combine in the moist heat. And, because Manhattan was designed without alleys to maximize living space, much of the city's trash ends up piled high on curbs or littered throughout. The pollution seeps down into New York's vast subway system. A study conducted by the nonprofit environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council found that four of the city's six most polluted streams were located in either Central Park or Hudson River Park.

The majority of the city's waste is currently disposed of at two large landfill sites: one in Staten Island operated by Waste Management, the other in Otisville, N.Y., operated by Rosedale Landfill. Both of these landfills are considered major sources of air pollution, as they emit greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane and release toxic substances into the soil and water table.

Additionally, between 1800 and 1900, thousands of African slaves built many of Manhattan's streets with their own muddy hands. This practice ended when the city passed its first sanitation law in 1807. Since then, workers have been used to clean up after themselves. In fact, according to the Department of Sanitation, nearly a million people currently serve on city cleanup crews.

However, even with this effort, some areas of the city remain unsanitary.

Is New York City a forest?

Due to the city's rich geologic history and proximity to water bodies, researchers discovered a variety of forests in New York City, ranging from oak-and-hickory-dominated forests along the terminal moraine that stretches from the southern end of Staten Island to the Bronx, to maritime coastal forests, primarily in Brooklyn. These forests were destroyed over time by humans who settled the area or used them for fuel.

Today, only 7 percent of Manhattan is still covered with natural vegetation. The rest is made up of buildings, roads, and parks. But there are plans to restore part of the island to its natural state.

Manhattan's remaining forests are mainly on city-owned property, including but not limited to Central Park, which covers 385 acres (1.5 km2) near the center of the island, and Roosevelt Island, which is partially owned by New York City but is not open to the public. There are also small clusters of trees on privately owned rooftops that have been preserved through laws requiring roof gardens be left in place after a certain period of time has passed. These include trees on top of Rockefeller Center and the GE Building in Downtown Manhattan.

In Brooklyn, several neighborhoods have large tracts of forest park land, which are protected areas within the city limits where trees are grown for use as urban green space. These include Fort Greene Park, Hamilton Beach Park, and Sheepshead Bay Park. There are also many smaller wooded parks throughout the borough.

About Article Author

John Lieber

John Lieber is a man of many talents. He's an engineer, an inventor, a builder, and a doer. He's got the heart of a captain and the mind of a CEO. His passion is building things, and he'll go to any length to make them work. John's got an eye for detail and the tenacity to keep at it until the job is done.

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