2003-11-14 / Columnists

Sprayview Sticks Stones

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

The previous column concerned the hypothesis that JFK Airport expansion activities could explain the "mosquito farm" at Dubos Point Wetland Preserve (city parkland) because of the ease of concentrating air traffic eventually over Runway 22/4L (runs into Joco Marsh where Laughing Gulls nest.)

There is a soft concrete that can be rolled over such swampy land and the Port Authority in the past even hired a NYC Sierra Club executive to plan to shift the gull colony to Eastern Long Island. For 600 passenger aircrafts and for more volume airport runway extensions may be rationalized but "no fun" if you are on the ground and the noise does not even give the mosquitoes a zap.

The old history of the site does include elected officials and agencies expected to act logically in assisting an end to the travesty of keeping a wetland "buzzing with bugs."

So certain environmental agencies (city, state and federal) did nothing nor did officials implore them to do something.

The new history of the site involves trying to get recently elected officials to act. Thus I attended Assemblywoman Titus’ office opening and spoke to Bernard McCoy of her staff about the Dubos Point mosquitoes.

City Councilman James Sanders has also been implored with lots of information furnished from overflowing Friends of Rockaway files on the mosquitoes plaguing the community around Dubos Point and the surrounding area year after year.

Is there hope? Only if the elected officials tire of all the complaining and the threat of future public health problems in the Arverne building boom area is given priority.

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