Community Member

Richmondtown & Clarke Avenue Civic Association

Staten Island, New York

The Richmondtown and Clarke Avenue Civic Association is against a Department of City Planning proposal that would streamline rules in Staten Island’s three special districts. This file photo shows a Sweet Brook Bluebelt drainage basin. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma)Staff-Shot

Staten Island is a diverse and richly cultured borough of New York City, separated from Long Island by the Narrows and from mainland New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull. Carol Donovan leads the Richmondtown & Clarke Avenue Civic Association, Staten Island, NY in a constant effort to curb irresponsible development and preserve important ecosystems, including wetlands, as well as making sure public hearings and comment periods are accessible to the community.

This is a photo of where the gas station is proposed to be built [in the Graniteville wetlands area, where a BJ’s and strip mall are also planned]. NY DEC has stated that this is area is not a wetland.

Currently, the group has joined with the Staten Island Coalition for Wetlands and Forests to protect the Graniteville Wetlands which is being threatened by the construction of a large BJ’s Warehouse store, gas station and parking structure. These wetlands were instrumental in protecting the community against the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. The coalition working to protect the Graniteville Wetlands are advocating for it to become a New York State park and are suing the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to force the department to redo its environmental assessment of the site. Hundreds of homes and an area of approximately 30 acres, of both freshwater and tidal wetlands, are at stake.

Written by Michele Gielis


Environmental group suing to stop BJ’s development, save wetlands,, November 11, 2020

These Wetlands Helped Stop Flooding From Sandy. Now a BJ’s May Move In: A group of Staten Island residents concerned about climate change is challenging the project, New York Times, by Anne Barnard, October 28, 2020

Plan To Turn Staten Island Wetlands Into BJ’s Wholesale Club Moves Forward, The Gothamist, by Alexis Sotttile, October 25, 2019

Encroaching development threatens a crucial Staten Island wetlands, NY Curbed, by Nathan Kensinger, September 6, 2019

Special district proposal raises concerns about overdevelopment,, April 29, 2019

Project doesn’t meet watershed regulations (letter to the editor)Updated Jan 29, 2019; Posted Sep 18, 2018

Michele Gielis

Michele Gielis

Michele has spent the last decade helping nonprofits raise their voice for change. She looks to make action meaningful by connecting people to the technology and messages that bring resonance and resilience. Michele is proud to support the Anthropocene Alliance working to get communities to #HigherGround


Carol Donovan

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Climate Impacts

Flooding, Water Contamination


Halting Bad Development

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations