The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, regarding the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposal to eliminate mute swans from New York State:
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves – including Sheepshead Bay’s mute swans.
The lawmaker, who is a member of the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, will be working with Suffolk County Assemblyman and committee chair Robert Sweeney to convince the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to seek an alternative to its plan to shoot or gas the state’s 2,200 mute swans by 2025.
The swans destroy habitat for native ducks and geese, which is why DEC has proposed declaring the birds a “prohibited invasive species.” They’ve also been known to behave aggressively toward people.
Still, the elegant and graceful birds are as iconic to Sheepshead Bay as the Emmons Avenue promenade and fishing boats, says Assemblyman Cymbrowitz.
“There are other ways of dealing with the swan population that are non-lethal,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. He said that he and Assemblyman Sweeney will be working with DEC to make sure that “any and all alternatives are thoroughly explored” before the agency issues its final verdict on the swans later this year.
Last year, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ office came to the rescue of an injured swan that was found sitting on the sidewalk on East 19th Street across from the bay.
“As a society, we need to co-exist with all of our neighbors. The state’s immediate reaction to dealing with a troublesome species shouldn’t be to murder it,” he said.