City and Feds Partner Up To Transform Jamaica Bay

By Smriti Rao on July 18, 2012 1:21pm 

In an agreement signed on July 17,2012 between Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, more than 10,000 acres of city and federal park land will now be jointly managed.
In an agreement signed on July 17,2012 between Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, more than 10,000 acres of city and federal park land will now be jointly managed.
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Mayor's Office/Kristen Artz

JAMAICA—More camping sites, bike trails and enhanced boat access could be coming soon to Jamaica Bay Park, according to a new initiative signed between the city Parks Department and the National Park Service.

Under the agreement, which builds upon one signed in October last year, more than 10,000 acres of federal and city-owned park land will be merged into a “single seamless park,” said Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar.

The initiative will also help fund research that can continue to help preserve the area's fragile ecology, authorities said.

The park houses almost 300 species of birds, including some that are endangered, and has been under threat because of its proximity to JFK Airport and raw sewage discharge.

The land covered by the agreement is part of the 27,000 acre Gateway National Recreation Area.

A new “friends” group, similar to the ones in Central Park and Prospect Park, will also be formed to help plan and raise funds for the park, authorities added.

The public has also been invited to chip in with their ideas on how to make the Jamaica Bay Park better under the joint management.

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