Jun 28, 2010

Wildlife Refuge hosts trucks and cranes

By Joe Maniscalco
Monday, June 28, 2010 4:11 PM EDT

Parts of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge are being used as a staging area for Department of Transportation Belt Parkway bridge reconstructions — making it look like a containment area for a certain oil rig explosion.

Grimy sand and floating containment barriers etch the marine landscape below Paerdegat Basin bridge. But agency officials say all is smooth sailing while the DOT reconstructs seven bridges along the 71-year-old Belt Parkway, and stores its construction materials and vehicles along the banks of one of the most important urban wildlife refuges in the United States instead of on the street.

“We have periodic field inspections and monitor the water,” said Dave Avrin, chief of resources for Gateway National Recreation Area, which is managed by the federal park service. “We expect the DOT to follow the best management practices.”

One of the staging areas is located on the Canarsie Circle, near the eastbound entrance to the Belt Parkway. Another is being created in the paved area between Canarsie Road and the westbound parkway entrance service road.

Despite the extensive work, Gateway officials say that the project is well conceived, and will not impact the 9,000-acre refuge which features such diverse habitats as salt marsh, upland field and woods, an open expanse of bay and islands, and varied fresh and brackish water ponds with more migratory birds flocking to it each year than to Yellowstone and Yosemite parks, and the Grand Canyon.

As of now, there’s no need to worry about the containment barriers, which are there to prevent the spread of turbid water, which is basically dredged up debris, said Avrin.

“This is a project that has been in planning for over a decade,” he assured.

Jun 27, 2010

Come One, Come All to the Sebago Canoe Club All-Club Invitational

Good heavens! Is it possible? Why, yes, it's true, we're only 3 weeks out from what could possibly be the biggest event Sebago has ever had!

At least while I've been there.

July 17th, we'd like to invite pretty much anyone who has a hand-launchable small craft to join us for a day of fun in the sun (we hope, but rain won't stop us) on Jamaica Bay. Not just kayaks, nope - canoes (outrigger or non), stand-up paddlers, windsurfers, rowboats, pirogues, dinghies, curraghs, taraibune, whatever - you name it, if you can get it to our club, down our generously-sized ramp, down the basin & under the bridge (the last being the challenge for the sailcraft, if the winds aren't feeling cooperative it's a few very fast tacks to get through), we'd love to see you!

And NO, you don't actually have to be a member of a club to come! All you need a boat you know how to use & all the related gear & safety stuff.

For full information, including contact information for an RSVP (which would be appreciated so we know how much food & drink to buy), click HERE!

Jun 23, 2010

Sebago Kayak Instructors run class for Brooklyn Bridge Park Volunteers

Last Sunday Sebago Kayak Club instructors Tom Potter and Walter Lewandowski ran a class for Brooklyn Bridge Park volunteers at the soon to be created boathouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park. A spectacular venue on the East River.

After the class some adventurous students and Tom, Walter, and Dottie Lewandowski paddled to rendezvous with the LIC Boathouse to observe their walk up paddling operation.

A wonderful time was had by all.

Tom Potter demonstrating strokes with the Wall Street skyline in the background

Sebago Kayak Chairman Walter attempting to keep the classes attention.