1999-10-30 / Letters

Audubon’s Indifference

Dear Editor;

I have spoken to my friend Mickey Cohen concerning his October 23 letter and have the following comments.

When NYCDEP Commissioner, Albert F. Appleton, had a traffic divider fencing installed from Beach 65 street and Bayfield avenue to Sommerville Basin, the dumping that had been taking place was successfully prevented. So Dubos Point is no longer a dump site, though some junk does get dumped over the divider.

Furthermore, there is a high berm inside the divider that I had installed after a 1989 cleanup by the Sanitation Department. The problem is that subsequent cleanups outside the berm—and after the divider installation too—have left a mosquito-breeding trench that no agency seems to care to fill.

I brought in the Corps of Engineers and because of the Jamaica Bay Ecosystem Restoration Program the Corps scientists have expressed willingness to undertake the opening up of poorly draining creeks where mosquitoes breed. The scientists will also replace poorly draining phragmites fields with intertidal wetland. Thus there will be less stagnant water for mosquito breeding at the city parkland known as Dubos Point.

No help has been received from NYC Audubon for this process to take place, and the Parks Department has even fought it taking place. This can be proven in minutes of meetings I have attended.

Whatever arrangements NYC Audubon has for Dubos Point is news to me and was not arranged at an advisory group meeting as should have happened. What advantage there is in keeping Dubos Point a mosquito hatchery is beyond all ken. Suffice it to say the neighborhoods most affected should certainly encourage the Corps of Engineers to speed up the process and obtain funding. Naturally, cooperation for Parks and Audubon will be requested. Please write to William H. Pearce, US Army Corps of Engineers, Jacob K. Javits Federal Building, New York, New York, 10278-0090, Attn. Robert Will USACOE Scientist.

BERNARD BLUM

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