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?
Worlds End was a proposed site for the United Nations Headquarters in 1945 and a nuclear power plant in 1965. Now part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, it includes 251 acres of undisturbed grasslands and over 4 miles of footpaths.