Flushing Bay, once derided for its unseemly smell and murky waters, has started to make a comeback in recent years.
Thousands of people use it to practice and race dragon boats. Families stroll along the promenade, no longer repelled by the powerful rotten-egg smell known to permeate cars driving by on the Grand Central Parkway.
But advocates worry the slow but steady progress will be wiped out by a controversial proposal to build an AirTrain that links LaGuardia Airport with the subway and the Long Island Rail Road.
The first steps in the environmental review process are slated to start later this week, and advocates for the bay are hoping they will get an opportunity to be heard.
“I think it would really take away so much of the work we have been advocating for — clean water, increasing community access,” said Hillary Exter, an avid dragon boat racer and board member of Guardians of Flushing Bay, a watchdog group. “Building the AirTrain either in the water or along the promenade really destroys what is a tremendous resource for the city.”