2002-10-19 / Columnists

Sprayview Sticks and Stones

By Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum
Sprayview Sticks and Stones By Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum

By Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum

The pulling off of butterfly wings or the burning of stray dogs or homeless people are ‘senseless cruelties’ and negligent if parental knowledge exists.

Yet there are other cruelties with negligence like "farming mosquitoes" in Dubos Point Park standing water while bulldozers strip mine topsoil that disappears in the name of "mosquito control!" Little children all bitten up, etc…..

So "who cares?," as worn on a sweatshirt logo, as part of a promoted ‘societal decay’ in the common culture we share. Who cares?

Then there is the "sardine can" style development program for ‘Rockaway open space destruction’ – as observed by Binky Glennon in her recent letter to The Wave on parking problems when population density increases.

Her bewilderment on the drainage issue is supported by a recent New Jersey newspaper article (The Record), which warns of a 4-foot sea level rise in fifty years.

True low lying areas along the coast will be subject to severe flooding in residential neighborhoods since one foot rise means 100 feet of beach loss.

So the greater worry of extreme shoreline changes supercedes missing wetland islands or missing dirt for mosquito control. So "who cares?" about planning steps to be taken now?

Not to worry since on October 22/23 in Albany there will be a conference called Quality Communities Quality Coasts Conference 2002.

Information can be obtained on the web www.dos.state.ny.us or by writing to NYS DOS/Division of Coastal Resources, 41 State Street, Albany, NY 12231-001.

Waterfront quality is not so evident in Rockaway plans, as for example when the impact statement for the Ocean View (1990) proposal asserted that a boardwalk separating beach from the proposal meant it was not necessary to have "waterfront recreational economic development" (e.g. Duke Kahanamoku Way and surfing) significantly in the proposal or at all! Hopefully, "Arverne By The Sea," etc. will be improvements.

So when the Parks Department in 1988 de-mapped Rockaway as an "oasis" for recreation (but kept Coney Island in), this was the same message! See map of 1988.

And when the State Department of Environmental Conservation plans to dump toxic dredge spoil in Norton Basin (for eco-development), this is the same message on enjoying our shorelines, ticket cruelty blitzing and all. "Who cares?"

Hopefully, the crumbling wetland island problem will not be used as a distraction to fill Norton Basin and other borrow pits with more toxic dredge spoil. Even with clean rubble, shallow pits will hold less wind whipped storm surge for enhanced coastal flooding.

"Who cares?"

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