Sunday, September 26, 2010

Save Floyd Bennett Fields Grasslands...

With Peter Dororsh's permission, I have published after some modifications, his letter he addressed to NYS birders. I encourage all of my readers to please read this letter and do what you can to assist in helping us preserve what, is the only place we in NYC could call our own sizable patch of grasslands.

Dear Birders of Brooklyn,NYC and NYS:

I am bringing this critical issue to your attention over Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Fields grasslands ( formerly an decommissioned airport) now threatened by potential development discussions ( info also based from the recent Blue Ribbon Panel set up by US Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Anthony Weiner). Last Tuesday evening, I attended a listening session/public hearing at Floyd Bennett. Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz (attended and also spoke), a NYC elective city official, is trying to tell the Federal Gateway National Parks Service to turn Floyd Bennett Field into more of a recreational amusement emphasis driven park.

If you are not familiar with the location. Floyd Bennett, is located on the southeastern part of Brooklyn , NYC, a critical bird migration hotspot where for the few past weeks Buff-breasted Sandpipers were feeding right next to the Aviator Sports complex (which itself opened the Pandora's box for more potential commercial development). Mr Markowitz's zeal, obviously has no idea of the potential habitat loss and impact to threatened and fragile grass birds that use Floyd Bennett, especially rare birds including RED KNOT(seen on the runway in 2007) and Upland Sandpiper recorded on the Ebird Cornell database (Check out the list and see "View and Explore Data"). Since 2003, over 215 species have touched down or used Floyd Bennett for breeding or migration purposes. The grasslands, have been impacted over the years and it needs a buffer perimeter which currently, is impacted by an overabundance of speeding cars and motorcycles (the main old airport runway) using Aviator Sports purposes.

I am hoping you will be deeply concerned and act on Brooklyn Birds' behalf to stop this nonsense and save the last grassland spot in Brooklyn and which grasslands of this size is rare for NYC. This preserve, though it is not pretty in some spots, is a rich bird spot where in recent days also saw Bairds Sandpiper and numerous raptors (frequent Peregrine Falcon) as well as some wintering owls (Saw-whet, Long-eared, Snowy sometimes, Barn and on occasions Short-eared) I hope you will act on behalf of New York City birders. You can contact Mr Markowitz's office or further, contact Gateway NPS administrator (google Gateway National Park or NYC Harbors Parks) or the Director of the Interior Ken Salazar. A city official should not delve into Federal natural habitat (but they do).

Peter Dorosh
Brooklyn Bird Club

If you wish to contact Mr Markowitz's office, you could do so by visiting

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