Wednesday, June 15, 2016
City says mosquitoes won't breed at Astoria Pool
Scan Astoria Park with your eyes and it is hard to miss the high dive pool. The towering diving platforms have been closed to the public for years, but the pool beneath never stopped capturing rainwater.
On a recent Thursday, you could seeas a faded basketball floating in the cloudy water, and knee-high weeds growing out of the pool.
"It’s definitely a mosquito breeding ground,” said neighbor Ian Eastwick, as he walked by the abandoned pool. "That’s where they hang out. That’s where they come from."
"I think they need to clean it up, man," added Les Fernandez, as he finished his workout in the park. "This is a popular park."
In April, Mayor de Blasio announced a $21 million campaign to fight Zika. The strategy includes public service announcements, travel advisories and warnings to get rid of stagnant water that might be collecting in old tires, birdbaths and pools.
Despite those warnings, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation suggested the Astoria Park high dive pool does not represent a mosquito risk.
"The diving pool is maintained regularly by NYC Parks staff, including weeding, removing debris, and spraying for insects," Meghan Lalor, a Parks spokeswoman, wrote in an email to the I-Team.
"However, due to the nature of the deep pool, this work is difficult and requires specialized equipment."