Thursday, October 27, 2016
Students help the ecosystem of Jamaica Bay
From CBS 2:
It’s a new day for Jamaica Bay. Hundreds of volunteers will spend a week digging in to help shore up the coastline.
As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, their efforts may make the area more storm-resistant and keep local wildlife thriving.
Over one week, 400 volunteers will shovel the shoreline of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to make room for 10,000 native trees and shrubs. They’re plant now to create a more resilient coast in the future.
“Our world is changing, sea level is rising. We’re having increased flooding in areas that were drier than before.” Chief of Resource Stewardship, Gateway National Recreation Area, Patti Rafferty said, “Sandy produced a surge of nearly 8.5-ft in Jamaica Bay – caused big problems for the ecosystem.”
Rafferty said the beach was breached. What was a freshwater source for hundreds of species of birds became brackish. Trees were uprooted, plants died, and invasive species took over.
Now, volunteers – led by the National Park Service, Jamaica Bay Rockaway Parks Conservancy, and the Nature Conservancy are taking it back.
They’re making room for natives like juniper and pitch pine.