Mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed a deal yesterday establishing a management agreement between the city and the National Parks Service for 10,000 acres of parkland in and around Jamaica Bay.
The deal, announced nine months after the intent was made public in October, establishes the framework for collaboration between the National Parks Service and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to promote access, establish research and education programs, and develop recreational opportunities in the park area, which includes Floyd Bennett Field and the marshlands and waterways around it.
(Video of the announcement is above. Note that this was originally a live stream, and the announcement does not begin until the 12:50 mark.)
The Jamaica Bay area is federal parkland, but jurisdictional lines have blurred for years as city and state infrastructure bleed into the park. Finger pointing between the patchwork of agencies and levels of government has long hampered improvements to the area, including squabbling over whose responsibility it is to make repairs to Plumb Beach – repairs that will soon be made after 10 years of community unrest as the sands washed away.