2011-06-17 / Community

RWA, Littoral Society Join For Bird Boxes


OBCC (Ocean Bay Community Center) students posting the sparrow box OBCC (Ocean Bay Community Center) students posting the sparrow box There are only a handful of people who have worked as long or as hard to protect Jamaica Bay as American Littoral Society’s director, Don Riepe. Over the past few months Riepe has worked closely with students from Rockaway Waterfront Alliance on a weekly basis to carry out various tasks including mounting bird boxes, counting horseshoe crabs and releasing diamondback terrapins back to their home in the bay. The students have all come to know him well and look forward to going out to explore the area to learn about Jamaica Bay.

Over the last few weeks Riepe helped the students from NYCHA Ocean Bay and RWA Aqua 101 program to post two swallow boxes. One was posted next to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center and the other in the Norton Basin Bird Sanctuary. Marlen Waaijer, director of the Norton Basin Stewardship Group, has worked hard over the past five years to revitalize this area and was thrilled to have the students help post a box. It was challenging work carrying the posts and digging 3-foot holes, but the birds who make these their homes will surely be thanking them soon enough. The birds will help reduce the mosquitoes and will help the native habitat in the area. This was the first time for many of the students that they took part in a team effort like this, but from the smiles on their faces it will surely not be the last.



Marlen Waaijer and OBCC students proud of their accomplishment Marlen Waaijer and OBCC students proud of their accomplishment

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