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In the ongoing battle to clean up Jamaica Bay, City Councilman Eric Ulrich announced that his office has secured $ 65,000 in funding to remove abandoned people both in the waters off Howard Beach and the Broad Channel in continuation of an initiative he launched last year.
The funds were allocated to the city’s park department via the “NYC Cleanup Initiative” to remove abandoned ships from the bay.
“Even though we made progress last year, there are still many abandoned boats in Jamaica Bay. Not only are they ugly and dangerous, they pose a serious environmental hazard to the local ecosystem, ”said Ulrich. “I am proud that my final budget as councilor includes this important funding to target the most problematic areas of this local tax.”
Ulrich thanked NYC Parks and Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers for their commitment to restoring pristine conditions along the bay and along the coast. Many vessel owners simply abandon their boats when they can no longer afford to maintain them so they can drift into and throughout Jamaica Bay.
Over the past many years, NYC Parks has removed dozens of abandoned from both the waters and the marsh, but the agency estimates that more than 100 vessels remain in the city’s waterways.
“These ships pose both environmental and public safety risks,” said NYC Parks Chief of Waterfront & Marine Operations Nate Grove. “In the event of a severe storm, they can also result in dangers of sailing on the water and damaging personal belongings. We encourage all sailors to maintain valid insurance on their ships and call 311 if they are looking for options on how to dispose of their ship. ”
Currently, there is no federal, state, or city-level agency tasked with resolving the problem of abandoned boats, according to Jamaica Bay Ecowatcher President Dan Mundy.
Councilor Ulrich has again funded a targeted removal effort that will allow these vessels to be towed away, eliminating their impact on the bay – which may include oil and fuel spills, destruction of wetlands and an aesthetic impact on the beautiful coastlines of this. national park, ”said Mundy. “We need a funded city-wide agency effort to address this in the long term, but in the near future it is great to see this kind of commitment from the councilor to address and act on this issue.”
Community Board 10 Chairman Betty Bratton welcomed the initiative.
“The process of removing such vessels is difficult, and their removal is necessary to keep hazardous chemicals out of our waterways and to maintain safe navigation from other vessels, especially in narrow sections of our canals,” Bratton said.
NYC Parks identifies ships for removal, and before being towed by a tugboat, the abandoned boat must in many cases be patched to ensure it does not sink.
“Imagine driving along a highway filled with wrecked vehicles scattered wildly across the road, yet the situation is around Jamaica Bay and its canals,” said New Hamilton Beach Civic Association president Roger Gendron. “Although the abandoned and sunken boats throughout the area are the eye, the environmental impact may not be measurable for a while.”