Working to Protect Gateway: The General Management Plan
The public comment period on the Gateway draft General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS) has now ended. In the coming weeks, NYC Audubon will be meeting with local leaders to bring pressure to bear on the National Park Service before it releases its final decision on the plan, expected by the end of this year.
In early August, the National Park Service released the draft General Management Plan for Gateway National Recreation Area, which includes many critical wildlife habitats including Jamaica Bay NWR, Floyd Bennett Field, Breezy Point, Fort Tilden, Great Kills Park on Staten Island, and Sandy Hook in NJ. This document provides a framework for park operations and serves as a generic environmental impact statement--and was created following a process of public comment on several alternatives that emphasized different priorities for Gateway.
NYC Audubon was surprised and concerned to discover that the National Park Service chose alternative B, which emphasizes increasing visitation and recreational services for the park, rather than alternative C, which provides stronger protection for the birds and other wildlife that live in the critical urban oases of Gateway. As acknowledged in the draft GMP/EIS, many of the planned infrastructural developments and changes in land-use associated with alternative B would be likely to degrade the condition of wildlife, habitats, and natural resources throughout Gateway, ultimately diminishing the potential for enjoyment of these resources by future generations.
The preservation of Gateway's wildlife, habitat, and natural resources must be given first priority in the final General Management Plan, in order to ensure that Gateway continues to be a refuge for imperiled birds and other wildlife. It is the responsibility of NPS to work to protect these natural treasures. Now that the public comment period for the draft plan is closed, we will be working in the coming weeks to influence the National Park Service to adopt alternative C to guide their new planning and management principles.
The preservation of Gateway's wildlife habitat must be given first priority in the final General Management Plan, to ensure that Gateway continues to be a refuge for imperiled birds and other wildlife in our burgeoning metropolis. Please click here to learn more about this important issue.
*Banner photos courtesy of Francois Portmann and Kati Solomon
**This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Christmas Bird Count - Citizen Science in Action
The 114th annual Christmas Bird Count will soon be under way nationwide. Data generated by the Count has been invaluable to scientists, allowing researchers to investigate the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. Click here for the full history of the annual Bird Count and the compiled nationwide data.
Christmas Bird Counts are being organized throughout the five boroughs between December 12 and 22 this year, and all are welcome to participate. NYC Audubon will once again host Manhattan's Central Park compilation gathering at the Central Park Arsenal on Sunday, December 15, a festive event!
Tweet Exhibition and Bird Call Workshops
Bird Call Workshops
Sun., 12/15, 12-3pm
Sat., 1/11/14, 12-3pm
Thu., 1/23/14, 3-6pm
Instructors: Gabriel Willow, Cliff Hagen, NYC Audubon staff
With Children’s Museum of the Arts
NYC Audubon is pleased to be partnering with Children’s Museum of the Arts, offering six Bird Call Workshops in conjunction with the museum's bird art exhibit, Tweet. During the workshop, participants will discover how and why birds sing, learn to imitate bird calls and songs, and have the opportunity to create their very own bird song recording, which will be featured on the museum’s blog. Please visit www.cmany.org/tweet for more information. Limit of 6 children per session. Free with admission to Children’s Museum of the Arts