2005-12-30 / Front Page

Jamaica Bay Meetings Set

By Brian Magoolaghan


The public will have the opportunity at two upcoming public meetings to learn about a new law that could shape the future of Jamaica Bay, which is losing marshlands at an alarming rate.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection and members of the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan Committee will hold the outreach meetings – one in Brooklyn and one in Queens – to discuss Local Law 71, a bill that requires DEP to create a watershed protection plan for the watershed /sewershed of Jamaica Bay.

The top goal of the law, which was sponsored by the City Council and signed by Mayor Bloomberg in July is to restore and maintain the water quality and ecological integrity of the bay, which is losing about 40 acres of marshlands per year.

The meetings will mimic an open house with different presentation and visual information. Those who attend will also be able to give feedback to members of the advisory committee, which should be a welcome opportunity to members of several groups, such as the Jamaica Bay Task Force, that are keenly interested in the bay’s future.

“We want to hear from [the public],” said Dan Mundy, a founding member of the Jamaica Bay Eco Watchers and a member of the advisory committee. “Hopefully they’ll be able to give us their concerns about Jamaica Bay.”

The other members of the committee are: Doug Adamo of the National Park Service; Manuel Caughman of Queens Community Board 12; Len Houston of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Brad Sewell of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Larry Swanson of the Marine Sciences Research Center; and Christopher Zeppie of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Mundy said the committee is planning to meet at least once a month because its plan has to be completed by July, 2006.

The first public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 11, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Ryan Visitors Center at Floyd Bennett Field. The second meeting will be held Thursday, February 9, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Main Stage Theatre at York College. For more information go to the DEP website at www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/news /cac-jb.html.

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