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?
The first transatlantic flight departed from the Rockaway Naval Air Station on Jamaica Bay in 1919. Today, it is the site of Gateway NRA's Jacob Riis Park.