Gateway reopens Great Kills Park, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

The breach in West Pond has changed the water from fresh to brackish.
While Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge will reopen this weekend, the trail around the West Pond is no longer a loop. Hurricane Sandy breached the freshwater pond, cutting through the trail.

NPS PHOTO by Dennis Bosak

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News Release Date: November 21, 2012

Contact: Murray Shoemaker, NPS, 435-260-2422

On Friday, November 23, Gateway National Recreation Area reopens two favored sites: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens and Great Kills Park on Staten Island.

"Our parks and open spaces are important places for people to relax, enjoy nature, and regain perspective on the important things in life," said Superintendent Linda Canzanelli. "Gateway is happy to be able to reopen a portion of Great Kills Park and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. The process of recovery will be slow, but we are working to reopen areas of the park as soon as we can safely do so." 

Great Kills Park offers a quiet getaway on the southeastern tip of Staten Island. Hurricane recovery continues and portions of the park remain closed, including Crooke's Point. The Multi-Use Path has some damage; visitors should exercise caution.

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, located in Queens, is one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the northeastern United States. Over 330 species of birds make this area an important stop along the Atlantic Flyway, making it one of the best birding spots in the Northeast.

The East and West Ponds, two freshwater ponds at the Refuge, were breached by Hurricane Sandy. "We know that the freshwater ponds at the Wildlife Refuge are an important part of a critical ecosystem in New York City," Canzanelli observed. "Hundreds of species of birds depend on them, especially during migration season. The park will be working with many agencies and organizations to figure out a long term solution."

For more information, contact Gateway at 718-354-4606.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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