2003-04-19 / Columnists

Sprayview Sticks Stones

by Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum
Sprayview Sticks Stones by Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum


Groundwater/rainwater for mosquito pains generated inside Dubos Point’s forever wild wetlands. Any $clams (available) timetable is a mystery (see previous column).Groundwater/rainwater for mosquito pains generated inside Dubos Point’s forever wild wetlands. Any $clams (available) timetable is a mystery (see previous column).

The MTA recycling of Red Bird subway cars into ocean waters to the south- for fishing reefs – may be regarded as local taxpayer waste! This is so since the cars – loaded with concrete – could be used for artificial parallel breakwaters. In the becalmed surf zone shoreward of these structures, suspended sand grains settle out and the beaches will build up for recreation and flood control!

So the Fort Tilden to Breezy Point ‘stinky surf clam pileup’ this winter is as much ‘a stink’ over the wasteful Army Corps beach re-nourishment program since the artificial beaches kept to nearly 10 feet above sea level slip, as if on a steep incline – back into the surf. Parks Department management does not help either in retaining beach sand!

So, in a relatively short time, especially around Beach 27 Street, the beaches disappear, the Rockaway Point Jetty (updrift of the inlet) building up sand where high densities of surf clams may thrive. All the re-nourishment fills to the east year after year prohibit such surf clam populations that big storms may wash up. Note in the 1950’s – 1960’s there were huge Arverne pileups of quarter to half dollar size juvenile surf clams but that was before the fills scheduled for the 1970’s to date.

Relocating the Edgemere boardwalk inland 200 to 400 feet (in a broad curve) and these locally recycled subway car breakwaters would save (in the vernacular for money) a lot of clams!


Fort Tilden remains of surf clam pileup against low sea cliff or scarp. Such cliffs 3’ – 6’ are common in Edgemere and Rockaway Park where the beaches are artificially built up.Fort Tilden remains of surf clam pileup against low sea cliff or scarp. Such cliffs 3’ – 6’ are common in Edgemere and Rockaway Park where the beaches are artificially built up.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers know the cost of a cubic yard of sand as do the dredging companies that bid for the ever-present Rockaway contracts. Also note a small country would not have wasted so much food and bait (for salting).

Though stretching it a bit, the clam pileups and the stink may be regarded as a ‘cosmic comment’ on the sardine can (unbalanced with eco-tourism) development style Rockaway is getting. After all most of the commercial catch of surf clams is ‘canned’- just like sardines!

Furthermore winter storm precipitation and the April showers that bring May flowers are the ‘mosquito rains; for West Nile Virus planning prevention pains!

For its density-density-density of the population, when it comes to the ease of transmission of diseases whether spread by mosquito or touch/cough (SARS or this Chinese corona cold flu).

Another name for sardine can is ‘urban sprawl’ which while bringing economic benefits brings air and water pollution with other social costs. Any $clams for Dubos Point mosquito control for urban sprawl planned surrounding it is another mystery…..


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