• Get away to Gateway, where you can camp and stay healthy with heart-smart activities. Photo by Sebastiano Privitera; used by permission.

    Gateway

    National Recreation Area NY,NJ

Lowering the Water

While hanging out with NPS Biotech Rob and conducting his insect research project, he had a few tasks to do at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. I tagged along with him. One task was to check and record the water levels on the West and East Ponds at the wildlife refuge.

Rob had to check the valves daily on both ponds. The first day I was with him, he started with the West Pond and on this day the level had dropped approximately .1 ½ from the previous day. After that, we went to the East Pond and it too had a lower water level. These ponds are allowed to drain into the bay starting in July and ending in September. The East Pond water level gets more attention, because of migratory shorebirds and birdwatchers during this time of the year (August).

The lowering of the water attracts migratory shorebirds to the ponds because it exposes the mud flats, providing the birds with a place to stop, rest, and fuel up for the long journey south.

Did You Know?

Jacob Riis

Journalist Jacob Riis was called "New York's most useful citizen," by Theodore Roosevelt. Riis often accompanied Police Commissioner Roosevelt in raids exposing the hardship of life for New York City's poor and immigrant populations and published his photos in newspapers. More...