Confronting Dynamic Ecosystem Changes in Jamaica Bay, New York
Gateway National Recreation Area
National Park Service
Delivered at 2003 Boston Harbor Islands Science Symposium.
Jamaica Bay, a 26,000 acre unit of Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City’s eastern boroughs, is changing fast. Jamaica Bay is a precious natural resource with a rich cultural history preserved in an urban national park. It is home to many species of migratory and nesting birds (including several endangered species), a breeding ground for the diamondback terrapin, a nursery for fishes, and a haven for urban dwellers who need to get away from the stresses of city life. Its salt marsh wetlands are an increasingly rare and precious resource, important as habitat but also to filter and store the quantities of pollutants entering the bay’s ecosystem.
Did You Know?
Scientists have recently identified a beach-dwelling ground beetle at Boston Harbor Islands that has not been seen in North America for over 100 years. It is believed the beetle, Bembmidion nigropiceum, was brought to Boston from Europe in the 1800s via ship ballasts.