2001-10-20 / Columnists

Sprayview Sticks & Stones

By Wave Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum

By Wave Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum

In 1990, the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Change drew up a costal flooding map that shows Coney Island, JFK Airport and Rockaway under water after a 50-year storm with a three-foot sea level rise. That could come in the year 2090, and that is a long way off. Already, one marine organism has doubled in size (in the largest size class) and the growing period in New York State is about a week longer due to moderating conditions (as compared to earlier decades). Those who value real estate over life guarding services of governance (as well as property protection) might look to the Duke Kahanamoku Way proposal for guidance towards adapting to changing costal climatology. So, "Go Costal," or "Go Costal Dunes," might be a catchy phrase to repeat at meetings.

Such a phrase would have been more than redundant at an early October waterfront revitalization conference convened by the Department of State’s Division of Costal Resources. Waterfront revitalization techniques (as well as wetlands restoration guidance with mosquito control bonus also among its functions), tourism and even waterfront access by ferries were topics scheduled for discussion groups. This Albany event does not make Wave headlines with officials and local leaders leading the charge for appropriate attention after too much neglect to bemoan.

Should anyone wonder why (anyone who has never listened to my barrage of words on waterfront issues) just go down to Richard George’s bungalow and have him show you his blocked easement to the local beach. So, built environments do serve a function. But how it is done has ethical and legal significances (and, certainly in waterfront revitalization literature dating back to the "year of the coast," hoopla of 1980 to drum up interest in appropriate coastal development, particularly water dependent and water related resources and habitats). George has supported the Duke Kahanamoku Way proposal and stamp and his several-blocks long dune planting behind the boardwalk is an esthetic and valuable habitat improvement accomplishment in a neglected part of the Rockaway shoreline. Bravo!

I lost my mother last year under strained circumstances involving two health-related facilities and the sanitation department. The conduct of all three, with a few other issues, came about and there has yet to be closure. If anyone appreciates any of the proposals for racial and religious harmony, or any other Friends of Rockaway activities, she allowed the devotion of time and energy that went into such "environmental stuff."

There will be more to say about this, but there is more Rockaway nonsense as follows: It my addition is correct, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has approved for comment $1,856,775 to restore five wetland areas. One is in Staten Island. Three are in Brooklyn. The remaining area is in both Brooklyn and Queens. The time limit for comment on the money is November 9, and we should comment on why Dubos Point in Rockaway is not included on the list. It is the mosquito capital of the world, per square inch of per cubic inch, depending on whether you are scratching or swallowing.

Those who are interested in including Dubos Point should contact The Wave or me for more information. Note that Dr. Dubos, for whom the point was named, was a scientist in the tradition of Dr. Pasteur, who worked up a vaccine to cure Anthrax in cattle. Such is the appropriateness of a dedication in the era of biowarfare strategies (West Nile Virus, anthrax, etc.).

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