2010-11-12 / Community

Eco-Activists Tour Bay With Corps Commander

Special to The Wave By Vivian Rattay Carter

Dan Mundy (left) thanks Colonel Boulé by presenting him with a Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers cap. Photos by Vivian Rattay Carter Dan Mundy (left) thanks Colonel Boulé by presenting him with a Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers cap. Photos by Vivian Rattay Carter Colonel John R. Boulé II, Commander of the New York District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, recently hosted a Jamaica Bay Restoration Inspection Tour for representatives of community organizations from New York and New Jersey. Two local activists were aboard: Dan Mundy (head of Community Board 14’s Environmental, Parks, Uniformed Services and Public Safety Committee, and founder of Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers of Broad Channel), and Vivian Rattay Carter (publicity chair of Sebago Canoe Club of Canarsie and grant-writer for Gateway Bike & Boathouse, of the Rockaway peninsula).

Participants boarded the MV Hayward at the Battery in New York City and cruised through New York Harbor, under the Verrazano Bridge, past Coney Island, around the tip of Breezy Point, and into Jamaica Bay.

The tower that vents methane gas from the Pennsylvania-Fountain Avenues landfill near Spring Creek is visible as the MV Hayward pauses near Elders Point. The tower that vents methane gas from the Pennsylvania-Fountain Avenues landfill near Spring Creek is visible as the MV Hayward pauses near Elders Point. Len Houston, the Environmental Branch Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, presented an overview of the agency’s ongoing efforts at several locations visible from the vessel, including Plumb Beach near Sheepshead Bay, Dead Horse Bay (at the foot of Flatbush Avenue near Floyd Bennett Field), Paerdegat Basin in Canarsie, and the Pennsylvania and Fountain Avenues landfill near Starrett City. The featured topic for the voyage was the marsh grass restoration projects at Elders Point East and West (the islands visible toward the west when crossing the Addabbo Bridge into Howard Beach).

Houston provided specific details on the marsh grass plantings at Elders Point (with colorful power-point handouts for participants to take back to their organizations).

Participants pose for a group photo. Participants pose for a group photo. He also spoke about the upcoming Spring Creek restoration project (which will extend along the shore in Howard Beach).

Mundy presented during the voyage as well, describing his involvement, as both a local monitor and an activist, in efforts to restore marsh grass and place experimental oyster beds in the bay. Oyster beds were also discussed and pointed out by representatives of the New York/New Jersey Baykeeper organization, as the boat passed Governor’s Island on its return into New York Harbor.
Colonel Boulé welcomes visitors to the MV Hayward as the boat pushes off from the pier at the Battery. Colonel Boulé welcomes visitors to the MV Hayward as the boat pushes off from the pier at the Battery.
Roland Lewis of Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (left) arrives for the tour, and is greeted by Colonel John R. Boulé II, Commander of the N.Y. District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (center), as Len Houston of the Corps stands by (right). Below, an aerial photo shows the developments going on at Elders Point, Jamaica Bay. Roland Lewis of Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (left) arrives for the tour, and is greeted by Colonel John R. Boulé II, Commander of the N.Y. District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (center), as Len Houston of the Corps stands by (right). Below, an aerial photo shows the developments going on at Elders Point, Jamaica Bay.

Oyster beds are being installed along the shore of Governor’s Island. Oyster beds are being installed along the shore of Governor’s Island.
Before and after photos of Spartina grass plantings at Elders Point East show dramatic improvements from Fall 2006 (above) to 2010 (right). Before and after photos of Spartina grass plantings at Elders Point East show dramatic improvements from Fall 2006 (above) to 2010 (right).

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