Congressman Anthony Weiner led a group of National Park Service officials, elected officials, community activists and reporters on a tour Thursday of three major projects in the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. The projects represent about $18 million in spending to improve recreation and the environment. The event kicked off with a ribbon-cutting at the newest section of the Rockaway Gateway Greenway, an asphalt path that runs through the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the 1.5-mile path, where cyclists, joggers and inline skaters are seen often. It took $1.5 million and more than 10 years to plan and construct. Photos by Brian Magoolaghan
|Weiner led the tour to the Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, which is undergoing a $3.3 million renovation and is scheduled to reopen in the fall. To his right are (l to r), Senator Ada Smith, City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr., Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and Senator Malcolm Smith.
Weiner (left) and others donned life jackets and took small boats out to Elders Point Marsh, where a $13 million marsh restoration project is underway. The project, which will use about 270,000 cubic yards of sand and about 900,000 marsh grass plugs to create at least 70 acres of marsh, was first detailed in a full-page story in The Wave last week.
Weiner, who dubbed the event the "funny hat tour" because of his frequent headgear changes, is seen here sporting a safari hat as he gazes through binoculars at a rare bird. Broad Channel Resident and Ecowatcher Dan Mundy and Barry Sullivan, the General Superintendent of GNRA, also check out the sights above.
Edward Galvin (right) whose company is performing the marsh restoration work, stands with Bryant Trader, an operating engineer who is an assistant foreman on the job. Trader was tasked with the job of keeping the sand and water - being pumped three miles from Floyd Bennett Field to the work site - at a 40/60 percent ratio, respectively.