"In 1960, an Eastern Airlines flight out of Boston crashed because the engines had sucked up a bunch of starlings. There was a huge public outcry to get rid of starlings. Lately, we have been hearing that the geese are a major threat to jet planes. Senator Gillibrand wants to round all of them up & kill them... well, kill them just for being what they are - geese. Last night on Channel 7, there was a big story on how the gulls in Jamaica Bay are a danger to planes:
The story included a guy named Steve Garber who was a "former wildlife manager for JFK". In the story, he says that having breeding colonies of gulls in the Bay is "the dumbest thing in the world" and that the gulls should be "relocated". Relocated where??? He added that when planes fly, "They suck in everything, so when they go through a flock like this every bird nearby will get sucked right in" . The story added that, "The bird colony on these islands is thriving, proof of the Port Authority's and the Federal Government's complete failure to eliminate a threat that they know has existed for at least 40 years." By the way, the "islands" that they are referring to are the marsh islands, the very places that all of us have been trying to protect, preserve & reconstruct, because THEY PROVIDE BIRD HABITAT!
DUH!!! Isn't Jamaica Bay supposed to be a WILDLIFE REFUGE???? After they get rid of the gulls, what species will be the next culprit? After all, those jet engines "suck in everything". The cormorants maybe? They are awfully big birds and there seem to be a lot of them around. And talking about big birds, how about getting rid of the Egrets & Herons? We all know the golden rule of ecosystems: If one species is removed, another species will take over. So if the gulls & the geese are gone, there will be more resources available for whatever species moves in to occupy their niche. And that species may be even more problematic.
NPS is getting away with murder here! They are setting the stage for further industrial expansion into the Bay by permitting the construction of the gas pipeline metering station in the hanger at Floyd Bennet. There hasn't been a peep out of them about the calls for killing the geese. They are DOING NOTHING TO PROTECT GATEWAY AND THE BAY. Plus, there hasn't been a peep out of Congressman Turner, who by the way, supports hydrofracking.
Right now, as we speak, a USDA truck is driving round and round the new parks created (at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars) on top of the old Pennsylvania & Fountain Avenue landfills. The USDA has been doing this every moment of every day, from before dawn till after dusk, for several years now. Their sole purpose is to monitor the bird populations that are attracted to the new parks & determine whether or not they will be a threat to JFK. Mind you, one of the primary reasons that these parks were so carefully planned was ...to provide bird habitat!
The handwriting is climbing higher & higher up the wall here folks & we are asleep at the wheel. Getting rid of large numbers of birds will accomplish two things 1) It will make the Bay "safer" for jets and 2) Once all of those damn birds are gone and the Bay is now "safe" the REAL objective behind all of this can move forward: Expansion of the airport by filling in parts of Jamaica Bay."
- Ida Sanoff
"Well, well, well. After I mentioned the possibility of other bird species being slaughtered, I got the following blurb in an email:
USDA APHIS Notice:
OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC REVIEW FINAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT BIRD HAZARD REDUCTION PROGRAM: JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. "Proposed off-airport hazard management activities include Mute Swan, Double-crested Cormorant, blackbird, crow, Rock Pigeon and European Starling management within a 5-mile radius of JFK. Actions to address risks from resident Canada Geese have been proposed for a seven-mile radius around JFK." Written comments can be sent to: State Director, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, 1930 Route 9, Castleton, NY 12033-9653, Phone: (518) 477-4837, Fax: (518) 477-4899. The review period closes on June 13, 2012. The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) can be viewed here. We're going to submit a comment and encourage everyone to do the same.
So they plan to go after every pigeon, starling, swan, cormorant & who knows what else in a FIVE MILE RADIUS. What's next? Sparrows? Mourning doves? Jamaica Bay is on one of the greatest migratory flyways in the world.
I went online to Google Earth. They have this tool where you can measure distance. So I started in roughly the center of JFK & drew a five mile radius circle: New parks at Penn Fountain? In the killing zone. Almost all of Jamaica Bay, including the newly restored marsh islands? In the killing zone. Marsh areas east of Rockaway near Atlantic Beach? In the killing zone.
Then I went to the link & started to flip through the EIS. It starts out with some of the more palatable options: Mowing grass, falconry, etc. Then it really gets going: Removing trees & shrubs & destruction of freshwater wetlands. PlaNYC is putting trees all over the place to absorb storm water. But the Port Authority is permitted to do as it pleases. In the Bay, where there is a huge problem with storm water run off already, the airport is REMOVING trees & shrubbery & filling freshwater wetlands!
Bugs are on the death list too. After all, birds eat bugs. So they are using copious quantities of insecticides which will of course, wash into the Bay. And if we learned anything when NYC started aerial spraying for mosquitoes some years ago, it was that crabs are vulnerable to bug spray. And that includes Horseshoe Crabs. Oh and many fish are really sensitive to insecticides. Which means that an entire ecosystem can just collapse.
Then it starts getting into the real objective: Trapping birds & euthanasia. Oh and shooting 'em too. In addition to the aforementioned starlings, etc. cowbirds & oystercatchers are on the death list too.
Bunnies are also on the death list. After all, hawks like to catch rabbits. So do owls.
Again folks, Jamaica Bay is supposed to be a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, not a death camp for birds & mammals. And what happens when these great minds figure out that birds can actually FLY from one area to another?"