2010-04-23 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

The weather’s warming up very gradually. Most days have bright sunshine in them, but gusty breezes keep some folks in their heavier coats and jackets. Playing hide and seek with warm days has its charms this time of year, but it won’t do for too much longer!

A few words about our bay: “Jamaica Bay is home to one of the largest concentrations of saltwater marsh in the State, and it is the main reason for the tremendous variety of animal species that are found in this area.

“Spartina alterniflora, the saltwater marsh of Jamaica Bay, has been identified as one of the most environmentally productive areas on earth. An acre of saltwater marsh can hold more life than an acre of the rainforest. Aside from the numerous marine species that call the saltwater marsh home, it is a feeding area for the various types of birds that frequent this region. Studies have found that Jamaica Bay is the largest migratory stopover for birds on the entire east coast with almost half of all the species that live in North America having been spotted at some time in the bay!

“The Marshlands have been vanishing over the last few years due to the high levels of nitrogen that the city’s sewage treatment plants discharge into the bay’s waters. Thankfully, efforts are finally underway to both reduce the level of nitrogen that is put into the bay and to create new saltwater marsh islands.

“While this is encouraging, we must do all we can to protect the marshes that still exist in the bay. Broad Channel’s annual Earth Day Cleanup is extremely important in this effort. Floating trash, as well as the ‘wrack’

the dead straw from last year’s marshes) gets trapped in the bay. This debris gets deposited on top of our healthy marshes after storms and unusually high tides. If it is not removed, it will eventually smother and kill off the otherwise healthy marsh, thereby leaving an area that no longer provides the multitude of environmental benefits. In addition, with no marsh there is no buffer between the bay waters and the land our homes are built on. Salt marshes are imperative for erosion control as well.

“With just a few hours of work, volunteers can remove this debris from Broad Channel’s healthy marshes and can save acres of these environmental wonders.

“Our cleanup will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday April 23, 24, and 25. Please lend a hand to help clean up sometime over these three days. You can contact Kate Willsen, 917-692-0344, for information on when and where to meet.”

Christ Presbyterian Church will be holding their Annual Spring Flea Market and Plant Sale on Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Franks, soda, coffee and tea will be available for purchase. Mother’s Day plants will be sold at the above event and also on Sunday, April 25 and on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 9 outside the church.

On Sunday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to noon take part in the “NYC Audubon Spring Bird and Wildflower Hike” in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Begin indoors with a slide presentation. Outside, naturalist Don Riepe will walk the trails with you and look for migrating birds and wildflowers. Bring binoculars. Sign up at 718-318-4340.

American Legion Auxiliary will be hosting its final Brunch of the season on Sunday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eggs any style, pancakes, freedom toast and various omelettes with a choice of bacon, ham or sausage are on the menu. Potatoes, roll and butter, juice or drink, coffee, tea and cake included.

Broad Channel has a team in the Relay for Life called My Ladies and if anyone is interested in donating money or any local business is interested in buying a sign, they can contact Sabrina Gross at 718-634-4632.

“The Relay for Life is an overnight event in which members of the team walk the track in honor of or in memory of someone battling cancer or someone who has lost their battle. Each team must have survivors on it. There are about 8 people on the B.C. team. All the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society. We will be hosting a yard/bake sale on May 16 at 11 a.m. at 1309 Crossbay Boulevard; anyone interested in donating items for us to sell or making a monetary donation should contact Sabrina Gross at 718- 634-4632 or Smag406@aol.com. Also at the yard sale my 7-year-old daughter will be selling some of her art work in order to raise money for the team as well.”

The filming of Law and Order had quite an impact on the community. Broad Channel: the TV show has been added to the book, the play, the (book) chapter and the (book) pages where Broad Channel was the big topic. The “Criminal Intent” episode was seen by more than a couple of neighbors. If you did not catch the episode called “Broad Channel,” I have two VHS tapes of it that I’ll lend out. But the Historical Society has been offered a DVD of the show by a neighbor. It’ll become part of the Historical collection when it’s received and likely lent as well. Otherwise, there’s sure to be a rerun!

“Tip of the Week” is now a permanent part of the column — if tips come in, they’ll be printed. Tips can be on repairs to home, boat, bicycle or car; childrearing; fishing; gardening; cooking. Send tips to the email address below.

Tips of the week: From two different neighbors come these gardening suggestions: “Plant marigolds close to each of your tomato plants; they help protect tomatoes from bugs.”

“Our yards are small. Consider container gardening to enlarge them; pots can rest on cement and will make gardening area larger.”

Please send material to be published in the column by Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. of the week before it is to appear. Thank you.

Email can be sent to: Lizbcbits@aol. com

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