New Visitor’s Center Slated for Sanctuary
Congressman Anthony Weiner has announced that he has secured $3.3 million to build a new visitor center and maintenance facility at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, in Gateway National Park. Construc-tion on both projects is expected to be completed by 2005.
Every year, thousands of nature lovers make their way to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, in Gateway National Park. The refuge, which contains numerous islands and more than 9,000 acres of waterways, is a principle migratory flyway of North-east American birds and contains one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the northeastern United States.
One of the first stops on the way to the refuge is it’s visitor center. It’s a place where visitors can learn more about the snowy egrets, Canadian geese, warblers, and breeding fish that call the refuge home, get maps of it’s breathtaking nature trails, and find out about the health of our fragile marshlands.
Soon, the visitor center will be even more visitor friendly, thanks to a $3.3 million appropriation secured by Rep. Weiner. The funds will be used by Gateway to rebuild the center, adding a lecture space, refurbishing the display room and making it more energy efficient. The refuge’s maintenance facility, which adjoins the current visitor center, will be moved to a location away from where visitors congregate.
"The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful resource for harried city dwellers, a place to experience an extraordinary diversity of fish, fowl, flora and fauna," said Rep. Weiner. "Anything that makes it easier for visitors to appreciate the natural wonders is a good thing."
In 2000, Weiner convened a Blue Ribbon Panel of world class scientists to develop a plan to save the refuge’s disappearing wetlands. In June of last year, Rep. Weiner secured a $598,000 grant from the Natural Resources Protection Program to fund the panel’s initiatives.