Archive for the tag 'floyd bennett field'

Aerial shot of Floyd Bennett Field. Source: Wikipedia

Aerial shot of Floyd Bennett Field. Source: Wikipedia

Join American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen and discover birds, early wildflowers and hidden World War II military bunkers in the developing maritime woodlands of Floyd Bennett Field, Sunday, April 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Meet at the Ryan Visitor Center. There will be at least two miles of walking, so prepare for moderate exertion. Reservations are not required and anyone is able to attend.

To learn more, call (718) 318- 4340.

A Douglas A-4B Skyhawk Attack Jet inside of Hangar B. Source: Gateway National Park

A Douglas A-4B Skyhawk Attack Jet inside of Hangar B. Source: Gateway National Park

Children on spring break are invited to attend “Flights of Discovery,” this Wednesday, April 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Floyd Bennett Field’s Ryan Visitor Center, where they can learn about airports and planes of the past.

Kids can design their own pilot wings and receive a passport to adventure. Then, visit Hanger B where Floyd Bennett’s Historic Aircraft Restoration Project (HARP) volunteers are restoring vintage plans.

Anyone can come and reservations are not required.

To learn more, call (718) 354-4606 or check out Gateway National Park on the web.

A Ranger educates the public at the Ryan Visitor Center. Photo by Ned Berke

A Ranger educates the public at the Ryan Visitor Center. Photo by Ned Berke

Two exciting, historical presentations will be taking place this Sunday, December 15 at Floyd Bennett Field’s Ryan Visitor Center.

  • Famous First Flights: Jamaica Bay has had its fair share of famous first flights taking off and landing from its shores. Join a park ranger from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a slideshow about these flights, and many others.
  • Civil War or Civil Rights – A Century of Change: Explore the major events of the civil rights continuum during the pivotal years from 1863 to 1963, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Anyone can come to both events — reservations are not required. To get there by public transportation, take the Q35 bus [PDF].

For more information, call (718) 354-4606.

Source: Williams

The controversial natural gas pipeline, proposed to run underneath the Rockaways, through Jamaica Bay, and into Floyd Bennett Field National Park, has been plodding along the approval process for several months, with the latest news being the issuance of an apparently favorable draft statement by the federal government.

(Read our ongoing coverage of the Jamaica Bay pipeline.)

The Rockaway Wave reported last week on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project, an offshoot of Williams’ Transcontinental Gas Pipeline (Transco):

In its draft EIS, [the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC)] gave a favorable report for Transco and came to a conclusion that the environmental impact wouldn’t be so bad. The “construction and operation of the Projects would result in limited adverse environmental impacts that would mostly occur during construction,” the EIS said. Overall it says that the limited adverse impacts “would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Transco’s proposed mitigation and the additional measures recommended in the draft EIS.”

Critics, though, remain unswayed, saying that the agency has been too lenient in its review of the research, which was provided by Williams, and say more information should be required:

While Williams is pleased with the report, environmentalists are not satisfied. Dan Mundy, president of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers says the “report downplays the significance of the environmental impacts.” Mundy explained concerns over the fact that Transco hasn’t stated exactly what fluids will be involved with the project, which is significant as they will likely wind up in the water and may affect marine life. He also says that the company hasn’t released a modeling report which would show where sediments would go when the company trenches the ocean to install the pipeline. Mundy explains that sediment could impact an important artificial reef off the coast of Rockaway. Transco has been asked to release the sediment report for several months.

“The EIS report, as it’s done right now, is downplaying that significant impact and we’re concerned by that,” Mundy said. “It doesn’t include critical data.” He went on to say that the project should be put on hold. If it does go through and causes the mentioned environmental impacts, Mundy hopes the company considers restoring the areas that are impacted.

FERC didn’t give it all a free pass, though. The agency is recommending additional mitigation measures to reduce impacts on wildlife, habitat, and the historic character of the Floyd Bennett Field hangars that will be used in the project. The agency is proposing the requirement of 27 site-specific mitigation measures if the project goes forward.

The draft report can be found on the FERC website.

The agency is holding two public hearings to hear concerns about the project. The first will be held Tuesday, October 22, at 7:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Rockaway Council 267 (333 Beach 90th Street, Rockaway Beach). The second will be held Wednesday, October 23, at 7:00 p.m. at Aviator Sports & Events Center in Floyd Bennett Field (3159 Flatbush Avenue).

Additionally, comments can be made electronically through the eComment or eFiling features of the website under “Documents and Filings.” When writing a comment, refer to docket number CP13-36-000 for the Rockaway Project. Written comments can also be sent to Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

Photo by Ned Berke

Photo by Ned Berke

Sorry for the short notice, but if you’re looking for a fun and educational activity for your four- or five-year-old this afternoon, head on over to the Golden Age Discovery Room in the recently restored Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Home to New York City’s first municipal airport, children can learn all about airplanes during a fun story teaching session. The event is free — anyone can come — and reservations are not required. To get there by public transportation, take the Q35 bus [PDF].

For more information, call (718) 354-4606.

A little duck walks around the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuse. Source: peterjr1961 / Flickr

A little duck walks around the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. (Source: peterjr1961 / Flickr)

The Obama administration is looking to transform Jamaica Bay and other parks located in urban areas, into hotspots for hiking, biking, boating and camping, putting them on par with the nation’s most popular national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite. The Queens Chronicle is reporting that the US Department of Interior and the National Parks Service (NPS) announced a general management plan for Jamaica Bay and the Gateway National Recreational Area that would turn the area, especially the Brooklyn parts, into major hubs for outdoors activity.

The Queens Chronicle described some of the plans proposed by the NPS:

Among the ideas being proposed in the NPS’s preferred plan are increased opportunities for camping in and around the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and means of connection, such as bike lanes and trails, between sites around Gateway like Charles Park and Hamilton Park, which would also be eyed for “small-scaled” visitor centers that may include food and bicycle vendors — a plan proposed by the Parks Department to Community Board 10 in April that was shot down because board members wanted to see the park, notorious for being dilapidated and dirty, given an overhaul first.

Many of the drastic changes were proposed for parts of Brooklyn, such as Floyd Bennett Field, Plumb Beach and Canarsie Pier, and the Rockaways, where Fort Tilden would become a major hub for park activities…

The plan also includes suggestions for improving infrastructure, and dealing with the post-Sandy reality of flood risk. In the proposal the NPS outlines plans to construct new buildings to meet the flood elevation criteria set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and build roads that have sufficient drainage and can be passable in a flood.

NPS’s management plan also calls for increased public transportation — including ferries and better train service — to the area to bring visitors in from Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.

While environmentalists were pleased on the NPS’s plans to get people excited about the parks, Don Riepe, president of the American Littoral Society, cautioned that conservation should remain the top priority when it comes to the parks.

“My only concern is that I feel that there should be a major focus on protecting natural resources,” Riepe told the Queens Chronicle. “The recreation is fine. I think they should get their house in order. I’m asking ‘Who is going to manage it? Are the resources going to suffer?’”

Park of the Obama administration’s goal in pouring money into urban park environments is to get city kids to connect with nature.

The plan also stems from the Obama administration’s desire to pour more resources into federal parkland in or close to major cities — part of the White House’s larger plan to bring inner-city children to the outdoors.

In October 2011, then-U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Mayor Bloomberg signed the agreement in Marine Park, Brooklyn that allowed the two entities to coordinate management of Gateway, which was created in 1972 as an attempt to protect and restore New York’s coastal wetlands that had been severely damaged by industrial pollution during the previous century.

“We are asking ‘How do we connect urban populations to the outdoors?’” Salazar said in 2011. “New York may be the greatest opportunity we have.”

The Queens Chronicle laid out information for the public comment period and other open house meetings for the federal plans:

Public comment is being accepted on the proposal online at parkplanning.nps.gov, where the entire plan can be downloaded and read. Open houses discussing the plan are scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Ryan Visitor Center in Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn and Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

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Thousands flocked to this year’s Red Hawk Native American Art Council Pow Wow at Floyd Bennett Field this year, a weekend event where descendants of Native Americans take back a chunk of the parkland where their ancestors once lived and fished.

Reader Vladimir K. attended the annual event and took some stunning photos to share, as well as a little report about how the event went.

“[At the event] you’ll be able to see a wide variety of Native American souvenirs on sale, admire the “Birds Of Prey” show and watch quite a few men and women dancing Native American dances in their versions of Native American costumes. All the dancing happens to the Native American tribal music played live right in front of you,” he wrote to Sheepshead Bites.

“Not many but a few of those guys have faces right from the The Last of the Mohicans. A few others could be extras on the Apocalypto,” Vladimir added.

Aside from kid friendly activities and live music, a major highlight of the event is the Birds of Prey show, where trainers display hawks and other raptors and bring them up close to attendees.

“Bottom line: if you live nearby, have children from 5 to 12 and like to shoot pictures occasionally – it makes sense to go at least once,” Vladimir concluded.

Check out Vladimir’s beautiful photos of the Pow Wow Festival.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The company seeking to run a gas pipeline under Floyd Bennett Field and build a meter and regulating station in a historic airplane hangar there commissioned a report that found a .2 percent chance the planned facility would be flooded, even amid rising sea levels.

The Williams Transco pipeline company’s report came in response to an April 4 letter from the New York Department of State seeking reassurance that the station couldn’t be breeched after the Federal Emergency Management Agency updated its flood maps, post-Hurricane Sandy.

“Infrastructure in general was severely impacted by Sandy and NYDOS would not be adequately addressing coastal policies if we did not try to ensure that new infrastructure projects were able to withstand coastal impacts, including flooding,” Laz Benitez, an NYDOS spokesman said in an email.

Keep reading to find out Transco’s response.

A Ford Trimotor airplane at Floyd Bennett Field. Source: Wikipedia

Head on over to Floyd Bennett Field’s Ryan Visitor Center this weekend where you can hear a park ranger discuss “Naval Aviation Between the Wars, 1919 – 1941,” April 14 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

There, you will see a presentation and hear a discussion of the development of the U.S. Navy’s aviation capabilities between World Wars I and II, and the role that Jamaica Bay played in it.

The event is open to the public. There is no charge and no reservations are required.

For further information, call (718) 619-1438.

Jamaica Bay Pipeline Source: Williams

After months of protests, legal wrangling and more last-minute protests, the controversial Jamaica Bay Pipeline project is now in construction. According to a report by Gotham Gazette, construction on the 1.6 mile pipeline that stretches underneath Jacob Riis Park and ends at a meter and regulating station positioned at Floyd Bennett Field is now officially underway, much to the consternation of opponents who believe the pipeline could pose an environmental hazard.

While officials at National Grid have stated that the actual drilling has yet to commence, preparatory work for construction has already begun. Eventually, National Grid will connect the pipeline to the planned gas meter and regulating station located in a hanger at Floyd Bennett Field. The gas lines will service customers in Brooklyn and Queens. The project links the National Grid delivery system with Transco Williams’s offshore feeder.

While environmentalists have protested the pipeline, citing potential harm to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, local animal life and danger to residents from potential hazards, as well as industrializing a national park, National Grid promised that the line would actually be good for the environment.

“Each conversion is equivalent to taking 15 cars off the road for a year,” the Gotham Gazette reported the company saying.

The first phase of the construction effort is expected to be completed by May.

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