Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy devastates the West Pond Trail at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge...

Even as I was out yesterday "storm chasing birds", I wondered how Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge fared with Hurricane  Sandy.  The refuge falls just about into zone "A", which had a mandatory evacuation and although the parking lot sits on higher ground, the West Pond Trail was pretty much open to high tides and winds from the bayside or Pumpkin Channel.  Last night, I picked up a message from a birder who I met and helped ID some Sparrows the other day at the refuge, Leanor Chavez, reported that the West Pond trail had taken a beating.

I rushed out to the refuge this morning and Leanor was not exaggerating, the West Pond Trail had indeed taken a pounding. Many of the benches on the West Pond Trail were all gone.  Huge swaths of the trail was washed away, but the worst was near bench 4, where an entire section of the West Pond Trail was obliterated; thus, creating a flow from Pumpkin Channel into the West Pond.  This cannot be good for a fresh water pond like the West Pond and so National Park Service will have their work cut out for them to get things in order.  Perhaps engaging groups like the Army Core of Engineers to help??

One silver lining from this, if one is to remain optimistic is, that maybe funding for this disaster will enable NPS to repair the outflow on the West Pond, which was already broken.  In any case, if there are any volunteer cleanup efforts, for the refuge, I will try and get groups together to assist.  Lets hope for the best for our beloved Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Oh and if you are wondering about the East Pond. Well, lets just say a Kayak would be needed to bird the pond at the moment.

Where the very first bench used to be on the West Pond Trail.

Parts of the West Pond Trail washed away - deeper than it looks.

Where bench #1 used to be on the West Pond Trail

Debris washed up on the West Pond Trail.

Parts of the West Pond Trail was obliterated!

Water flowing freely from Pumpkin Channel into the West Pond.

Someone's boat washed up onto the marsh at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

A closer look at the washed away section of the West Pond Trail.

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Anonymous said...

Sad, hopefully we can rebound

Anonymous said...

That's so saad - I hope that you get this area back to what it was.

Anonymous said...

Very sad to see this. Hope this jewel of the Bay can be restored.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa said...

I'm deeply saddened as this is one of my favorite places in New York City--certainly, as a birder. Did the refuge also sustain much loss of trees?

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