Jamaica Bay Task Force Meeting — 5/6/2014

Gateway National Recreation Area chief of resources Dave Avrin announced that the General Management Plan will be made available in a week or so for a final 30-day public review and official adoption by mid–June. Regarding the West Pond, it is expected that public scoping hearings will take place this summer. A review of the draft environmental assessment will occur late winter, so that work could begin in spring 2015. No details were given about the nature of that work; that is, whether or not the West Pond would be restored to freshwater status. When asked if the now further delayed timeframe for the West Pond would put Hurricane Sandy funds in jeopardy, Avrin responded that he did not think this would be a major problem – a not very reassuring remark. Nevertheless it has become clear that there are some National Park Service officials who believe that the breached pond should stay as it is – a position that is untenable to the Jamaica Bay Task Force as well as the Birders’ Coalition for Gateway.