Friday, December 28, 2012

Breezy Pt beached Finback whale conclusion

From: NYC OEM Sent: Fri, Dec 28, 2012 6:57 pm Subject: Final - Whale on Beach-Palmer Drive and Beach 222nd Street (QN) Fri Dec 28 18:24:57 2012 STATUS: Closed PROGNOSIS: Response Marine-Whale on Beach Queens Palmer Drive Beach 222nd Street OEM 612 reports the finback whale has been buried on federal beach property. The National Park Service is investigating the cause of death of the whale. OEM operations have concluded. RESPONDING UNITS: OEM MONITORING INCIDENT NO: Inc-105134-988-122612 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ( whale was buried in Breezy Point Dunes)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy debris, wood burning at Floyd Bennett

City and state authorities are deciding to burn tree debris and other wood litter at Floyd Bennett Field which would affect the air quality immensely. Some of the wood is contaminated with chemicals.

see the link from the American Lung Association of Northeast that is urging the mayor and Governor rejection of wood burn, pleading for safer to environment mulching.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Profile of a courageous environmentalist

The following NY Times article profiles Rachel Carson, whose book Silent Spring, detailing the dangers of pesticides, came out 50 years ago this year.

Click on the link

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A meadow in Pelham Bay Park article

The author is a reknown butterfly expert and brother of a birder ( I know ) who now lives in New Jersey.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ridgewood Reservoir latest news

Reservoir revs up renovation effort
By Michael Gannon, Queens Chronicle, 10/11/12

New features are looking good at Highland Park project in Ridgewood

City officials still are not commenting as to whether they will pursue the construction of athletic fields on the site of the old Ridgewood Reservoir. But upgrades visible from the street appear to be progressing nicely.

Phase 1 consists of new fencing, new staircases and the installation of ramps to allow handicapped accessibility to the newly repaved walking trail around the old basins. New fencing is being added and a brand-new wiring and electrical system is being installed to accommodate new lights atop classic-style lampposts

Phase 1 was scheduled to be completed this past spring, until work began and contractors discovered walls and paths that were structurally unstable.

But Gary Giordano, district manager for Community Board 5, was upbeat on Monday.

“It should be done sometime this coming spring, which is better than I was expecting,” he said.

Still at issue is whether or not the city will allow one of the three basins to be filled in for the construction of athletic fields.

Officials from the Department of Parks and Recreation did not respond to requests for comment this week.

But Giordano said members of Community Board 5 remain steadfastly opposed to any plan that does not turn the former reservoir into a nature preserve for passive recreation, academic and scientific uses.

“With all the bird species there, you certainly have a reason for that,” he said. “We’ve been opposed to any of those basins being developed for active recreation, and the thought of thousands and thousands of truckloads of fill having to be brought in to fill one of those basins. It would be damaging to the surrounding community.”

He said there are plenty of ballfields of all kinds both in Highland Park and surrounding areas in both Queens and Brooklyn that would only need to be refurbished to serve the needs of all athletes.

The reservoir was built in 1858, and served as a water supply for Brooklyn for 101 years until two of the basins were drained.

Basin 2 served as a backup water supply for Brooklyn from 1960 to 1989, and was decommissioned in 1990.

It was transferred to the custody of the Parks Department in 2004 with the intention of turning it into a public park.


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Park sellout proposal a new trend

This issue regards Flushing Meadows Park which may be sold off in parts for private developers.  For more, see the link

Friday, September 28, 2012

Floyd Bennett Petition

From: Barbara Pearson

Subject: National park land being given over to industrial use

Date: September 28, 2012 1:54:19 PM EDT



I recently read an article by Peter Dorosh in your newsletter about the Rockaway pipeline. I am a gardener at Floyd Bennett Field and worked a bit with Peter this past year at Prospect Park. Peter's article was written before the Senate approved the legislation that will make this all possible so the situation is even more dire now. The link below is to sign the petition. The text on the White House petition website is an abbreviated version of the petition below. If you could promote this on your website and/or send an email to your members it would be most appreciated.


Barbara Pearson



VETO H.R. 2606 and NOT Allow Congress to Give National Park Land Over to Industrial Uses

In February of this year, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2606, the purpose of which is “to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow the construction and operation of natural gas pipeline facilities in the Gateway National Recreation Area". On September 22nd, as one of their last acts before Election Day, the Senate approved this bill and sent it back to the House with insignificant amendment that the House will surely vote to approve. That this bill was even being considered was virtually unknown by the users of the park and the constituents of those sponsoring the bill.

The National Park Service (NPS) giving over historic hangars at Floyd Bennett Field, NYC’s first municipal airport, to the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company for an industrial metering and regulating station is such an egregiously inappropriate use of national park land that this legislation was needed to specifically allow what would otherwise be prohibited by the law that created Gateway National Recreation Area and by NPS’s own management policies. NPS management policy deems a use inappropriate if any of the criteria below are met:

· causes an unacceptable impact

· is inconsistent with the park purposes or values

· creates an unsafe or unhealthful environment for visitors or employees

· results in significant conflict with other appropriate uses

· diminishes opportunities for current or future generations to enjoy park resources or values

The installation of an industrial metering and regulating station at Gateway meets all of those criteria; it is also as far removed from what NPS calls the most important type of use of a national park - “the enjoyment of unimpaired park resources and values by present and future generations” - as any use of the park could possibly be.

In addition, we feel the risk this legislation poses to ALL national parks being given over to inappropriate uses cannot be overstated when one considers that NPS is increasingly motivated to solve its maintenance backlog by entering into private “partnerships” as a source of financing. In fact, the “rehabilitation” of the hangars at Floyd Bennett Field at no cost to NPS is openly cited as a reason this inappropriate use will be implemented if H.R. 2606 becomes law.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The realities of available money and NYC parks

This article appeared in the NYPost News.

Among those parks --"Highland Park" actually includes bird and nature  rich Ridgewood Reservoir which was slated to have a turf sport field in the low wetland basin, a fight that started with Brooklyn Bird Club approached by a local activist way back then..

See also

Parks & wrecks for Mike


Last Updated: 4:55 AM, June 24, 2012

Posted: 11:45 PM, June 23, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy parks are coming — but they’re mired in hefty price tags and design problems.

The city has over-promised and under-delivered on $291 million in park projects that are being rushed to seal the mayor’s

place in history, critics say.

The eight regional parks were announced with great fanfare in April 2007 as part of Hizzoner’s ambitious PlaNYC program.

Five years later, the push to get them completed — or at least under way— before the end of the mayor’s term in 2013 has led

to downsized plans, engineering issues and delays.

“There was no planning, no realistic cost estimates. It was fantasy mixed with p.r.,” said Geoffrey Croft of NYC Parks


Troubles emerged soon after the mayor’s goals were passed to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and his strapped Parks

Department. Benepe announced his resignation last week.

Among the problems:

* Ocean Breeze Park in Staten Island saw work on a $69.7 million indoor track stopped over concerns the site’s concrete

pilings wouldn’t hold up in the marshy soil. Outdoor soccer and baseball fields were cut. The track lacks air conditioning,

making it unusable for big meets.

* At Highland Park, Queens, the administration abandoned its plan to build a 60-acre sports center when environmentalists

proved the site was an irreplaceable habitat. The revised project, a $19.3 million installation of paths, lights and fences, has

been delayed by construction woes.

* Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn was to get sports fields, kayak launches and playgrounds, but amenities were cut after the

discovery of contaminated soil. Much of the $20.1 million budget had to be spent on a cleanup.

* At Brooklyn’s McCarren Park Pool, set to reopen June 28 after a $50 million renovation and a year’s delay, a promised

rooftop cafe has not been built.

* $29.3 million was budgeted to update Rockaway Park in Queens, but the plan’s second phase, renovation of the Beach Ninth

Street portion, has still not been designed.

* Manhattan’s Fort Washington Park was promised a soccer and volleyball facility, renovations to baseball and soccer fields

and upgrades to its beach area, but the major sports and recreation elements of the $25.1 million plan were deferred.

* Contamination at Soundview Park in The Bronx caused delays in its $15.3 million renovation. The amphitheater and

performance lawn remain unscheduled.

* The city will spend $61.9 million to turn the High Bridge linking The Bronx and Manhattan into a passage for pedestrians and

bikes. The design phase, delayed from 2008, was just finished and work hasn’t begun.

In its rush to build, the city skipped crucial steps like site reviews, park activists say.

At Highland Park, for example, the environmental assessment began months too late. And the city seemed unaware the soil

under Calvert Vaux Park is a stew of Fort Lafayette munitions and dredge mud from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge’s


“Mercury, munitions, petroleum, maybe even unexploded bombs from World War I— we don’t know what’s in that soil,” said Ida

Sanoff of the Natural Resources Protective Association.

Once the eight projects are finished, finding funds to maintain them will be an annual headache.

“Future maintenance is our biggest concern,” said Francisco Gonzalez of The Bronx’s Community Board 9. “When there are

budget cutbacks, the parks face the worst cuts.”


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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gas pipeline proposed plan in Floyd Bennett Field

The latest debacle to "harass" this critical birding and environmental haven is a proposed Gas Pipeline  into Floyd Bennett .

Check out Citybird's blog for more on this deflating idea....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Protect birds at wind farms

Here is an American Bird Conservancy petition reporting on a growing and difficult problem despite wind energy's potential. It it the collision of birds with fast metal , mostly raptors that crash into wind turbines.

click on this link and sign on .


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Future Corporate takeover of Floyd Bennett Field sections ???

If having Aviator Sports is bad enough, look what the door open to .... Getting wide now with all that open grassland space looking grand for corporate rental leasing of a park land.... Never ends... I am sending you the latest ridiculous idea concerning Floyd Bennett Field and its under threat grasslands if birders and conservationists don't unite to save FBF..And I heard this attempt is trying to avoid Public hearings.Its a scary precedent ( for birds, birders and wildlife and of course habitat loss) .Pass the word....Peter,Brooklyn Bird Club

This is the US Congressional bill

which would allow the National Park Service to lease part of Floyd Bennett ( or other gateway property) to National Grid Gas (NYC 's primary gas company) , with one bill phrase saying ""To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow the construction and operation of natural gas pipeline facilities in the Gateway National Recreation Area, and for other purposes".

see the right side bar of the above 1st link which includes the 2nd link , the House rep bill

February, 2012

New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act Threatens Floyd Bennett Field

The U.S. Congress is considering H. R. 2606 New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to: (1) issue permits to allow the planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of natural gas pipeline facilities in the Gateway National Recreation Area (New Jersey-New York); and (2) enter into a lease agreement to allow the occupancy and use of an aircraft hanger building on Floyd Bennett Field (Brooklyn, New York) to house facilities associated with the operation of natural gas pipeline facilities.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fighter Kite string (manja) found in Floyd Bennett (Kings County)


A blight has developed with a popular kite war game, originated from southern Asia (banned in Pakistan) , carried over to here to the wide open spaces of Floyd Bennett Field. The harmful string used to fly the kites, called manja, is a very strong high tensile usually red ( or another color) string coated and embedded with glass ! The purpose of this war game is to cut the competitor(s) kite strings in the sky.You get the idea. see this link

The problem arises when this string is left behind , discarded unto the fields, posing great danger and threats to birds that use these fields for roosting, feeding or resting. Can one envision a Short -eared owl being a victim ?

Last month , me and another birder found remains of manja which I rolled up at least 1000 feet across field A, my glove shredded afterwards. Last week, birders ( who contacted me yesterday) found remains of fighter kite string in field C where the Northern Shrike was and those birders also collected the string, also getting their gloves damaged. Its a widespread problem that is not enforced , likely because no stated policy or action has been clarified by Gateway administrators. I sent a letter to the Gateway superintendent tonight stating my concerns and need to ban and enforce by the US Park Police. I stated also the requirements of the Migration Bird Treaty Act in the spirit of that law even if it doesn't cover fighter kite string.

If you happen to come upon this nemesis kite string, I advise you tell the Gateway staff person at the Visitors Center, if possible collect the string with a stick ( never bare hands).Or carry rawhide gloves and a plastic bag if you visit Floyd Bennett.

Let me know if you find any and I 'll forward to the appropriate people or give you the superintendent contact info.

Here's more

To give you an idea of how dangerous this fighter kite string is, please read these links below of what the glass string did to a human being's neck. The second link includes pictures and comments about the kites at Floyd Bennett and Flushing Meadow (Queens County) . In the first link,apparently a young man had his throat slashed by some of the string. The "sport" has been outlawed in Pakistan because of the injuries.

The following NY Times link shows eleven slides , some showing the cuts on the kite flyer hands which the string no doubt will kill birds or at least maim their limbs or bodies and produce extreme prolonged suffering.

For more about Fighter Kites, read this link

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NYC releases its Wetland Protection policy draft proposal

The attachment in the link above ( "Read On"  in the second link ) is a very important conservation proposal put out by our city Jan 18th ( last Thursday) . The draft is 63 pages long but necessary to understand how critical this proposal is in the fight to save places like 4 Sparrow Marsh ( 64 acres) which the latest development plan threatens the marsh ecology with a large car dealership Kristol Auto next door at the current Toys R Us site; Kristol Auto is under investigation by the NY State Dept of Environment Conservation (NYSDEC) for its current location elsewhere for brownfield contamination

And in the long fight as well for Ridgewood Reservoir , Still under determination by NYSDEC to declare Wetland which carries restrictive protection from the city's plan to build ballfields inside the reservoir ( for more if you haven't been apprised-->

If you can comment on the proposed Wetlands policy, please do even if it isn't much. The deadline is February 18th.

Thanks for Brooklyn's birds and her habitats !