From the Queens Tribune:
The Jamaica Bay Task Force, a group of private citizens and organizations concerned about the bay, met April 7 at the American Legion Hall in Broad Channel to discuss the potential the RPA's plan has to damage the ecological makeup of Jamaica Bay. The meeting was attended by more than 150 residents and civic leaders, including U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Kew Gardens), who flew back to New York from Washington D.C. during last week's budget negotiations just to make an appearance at the meeting.
Don Riepe of the American Littoral Society showed photos of birds and animals that live 150 yards or less from the airport. Some of them live and thrive along the boundaries of the airport. The bird populations, he said, could interfere with air traffic coming in and out of new runways in nesting areas.
Capt. Vincent Calabro, a fisherman who fishes in Jamaica Bay, fought the labeling of Grassy Bay as "dead," showing pictures of fish he has caught within yards of JFK, including two-to-three-foot-long striped bass, flounder and fluke.
Besides environmental concerns, some were worried about noise issues and the potential for disasters like the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 into a Rockaway neighborhood in 2001. One proposal calls for a new runway to be constructed on the west side of JFK that would send air traffic directly over Broad Channel at low altitudes, a problem that has already plagued Howard Beach, South Ozone Park, Rosedale and the Rockaways.
The implementation of NextGen, new air traffic control technology, will allow planes to fly closer together, meaning planes would be flying over residential neighborhoods as often as every 30 seconds.
Photo by godsavebklyn on Flickr