Eco-Activists Tour Bay With Corps Commander
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.
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).
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.