Jbay activists protect ailing island

Jbay activists protect ailing island
Littoral volunteer Nicole Portalatin hefts a tray of Spartina Alternilora grass for transplanting on the Jamaica Bay island in need of care.
Photo by Jeff Yapalater

Some residents who live near on or the tiny islands in Jamaica Bay work together to help protect this environment by banding together and helping Nature takes its course. These activists, Jamaica Bay Eco-Watchers, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservency, American Littoral Society, Bloomberg Group and a host of others do their part in improving the waters, and islands that dot the bay.

On a recent fine day,dozens of volunteers gathered at Don Riepe’s Littoral Society headquarters on Broad Channel wearing boots, sandals and old sneakers to take a short boat ride to Black Wall Island to walk through soft sand and plant grass.This small previously vegetation less island has been nurtured back to health by volunteers planting marsh grass. Hundreds of pounds of seedlings are ferried over and individually planted on the marsh island. The success of the planting over the years had motivated these volunteers to come back and continue to revitalize this islands.

JFK airport was built on the marshlands of Jamaica Bay decades ago. It is a dichotomy to see the air traffic control tower and huge shiny objects fly over the primeval landscape of sand, Herons, Ospreys, terns, bait fish ,crabs and creatures that share the Jamaica Bay with thousands of overhead flights a year. A lot has been done by the Port Authority to minimize the impact of industrialization in the area by being more environmentally friendly.

There are annual bay cleanups performed by JFK workers and nearby schools.

All the stewards of the bay are important in keeping theses breeding grounds safe for future generations.

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