The sight and smell of what appeared to be thousands of dead fish in Shellbank Basin, the waterway which runs parallel to Crossbay Blvd. in Howard Beach, angered and upset local residents during the long Labor Day weekend.
City Councilman Joe Addabbo reported that a constituent, who had called 311 to report the problem, notified him on Friday after business hours via his 24 hour live hotline.
“That constituent was upset by being told a clean up would be in 10-14 days. That's not acceptable,” Addabbo said, “I responded by immediately going myself to the Starbucks vicinity to see the problem firsthand.” Addabbo then called the mayor's office, which responded by sending out DEP to clean up fish within 48 hours. "I'm thankful a constituent called my 24 hour service and that the mayor's office and DEP responded. I believe now we need to get answers from the NY State DEC as to how the situation occurred and how it can be avoided in the future."
That DEP was on scene and cleaning up was confirmed by Community Board 10 Chairperson Betty Braton. “My home abuts Shellbank Basin,” she said, “DEP's boat and personnel were there working throughout the holiday weekend.”
Similar occurrences in the past have been blamed on a lack of oxygen in the water, causing fish to die. One contributing factor is that the depth of the water in the northern end of Shellbank Basin is considerably deeper than it is further south in the waterway.
Something's fishy in Howard Beach