Natural Gas Pipeline Under Urban Park Opposed

August 6, 2012 by · Comments Off on Natural Gas Pipeline Under Urban Park Opposed 

A proposed 30-inch natural gas pipeline (shown in red) would transverse beneath the Floyd Bennett Field Park in Brooklyn. Map courtesy of Sheepshead Bites.

It’s no secret that many locals are riled up about the plan to allow National Grid and the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. (TRANSCO) to install a natural gas pipeline beneath the nation’s oldest – and one of its largest – urban national parks, Floyd Bennett Field Park.

In a one-month period, the project racked up 60 comments to the federal agency tasked with approving the project – all opposed. And, as soon as the plans became public, neighbors were outraged at local congressional leaders pushing the plan, as well as the National Parks Service for failing to seek community input, Sheepshead Bites reported.

The plan is to connect a primary natural gas artery in the Atlantic, just off the coast of the Rockaways, to a National Grid hub in Brooklyn. The pipe will go under the Rockaways, across the Rockaway inlet and underneath Floyd Bennett Field. There, Transco Williams will install a gas metering station in the two currently-unused hangars off Flatbush Avenue, which will be monitored remotely from their Texas headquarters. The line will then continue up Flatbush Avenue and into National Grid’s main system.

Though it appears the companies and government have been developing the project clandestinely for years, the public revelation of the proposal is spurring on activists who want to see it stopped for environmental and safety reasons – and also because it flies in the face of a new management agreement between the federal government and New York City meant to revitalize the park, capitalize on its resources and increase access to the public.

Those opponents held a rally on Saturday (Aug. 4) at Jacob Riis Park, slated to coincide with the city and fed’s open house session about the new General Management Plan for Jamaica Bay’s overhaul.


Interior Dept. Joins NYC to Run Jamaica Bay

July 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on Interior Dept. Joins NYC to Run Jamaica Bay 

Map of Jamaica Bay on Long Island.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed an unprecedented agreement between the National Park Service (NPS) and the New York Department of Parks of Recreation – spelling out ways the two agencies will cooperatively manage 10,000 acres of federal and city-owned parks in and around Jamaica Bay to promote visitation, education programs, scientific research and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

By allowing the National Park Service and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to work on each other’s property, comingle resources and undertake joint planning, this innovative new partnership will serve to better connect urban communities to the natural beauty and history of Gateway National Recreation Area and adjacent city park lands, according to a news release.

The agreement comes as part of the Obama administration’s vision to build and expand America’s urban parks so that they remain healthy, connected and accessible to every American through Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, launched in 2010. Salazar and Bloomberg made the announcement at City Hall and were joined by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, New York City Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Director of the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability David Bragdon.

“There is no better place than New York City to fulfill the vision of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative to establish a network of world-class urban parks across the country in partnership with state and local governments, local communities and city residents,” Salazar said. “The United States and New York City have joined forces to establish a single seamless park that is readily accessible to New Yorkers, and welcoming as a place to bring families, enjoy nature, get some exercise or learn about history.”

“This historic partnership will improve our city’s great natural treasure – Jamaica Bay – by creating restored, resilient natural landscapes, more outdoor recreation, new and cutting-edge research collaborations, and an improved, sustainable transportation framework,” said Bloomberg. “This is an important example of the great things that can happen when different levels of government work together and are supported by philanthropic organizations. This agreement fulfills important goals included our plans to make our city more sustainable and to enhance our waterfront.”

“The National Park Service is proud to partner with Mayor Bloomberg and the people of New York to make your neighborhood city and national parks more welcoming, more accessible, and more relevant for the citizens of this great city and visitors from around the world,” said Jarvis. “This partnership we are forging between Gateway and the city is huge step forward in upping our game in urban areas. We invite New Yorkers to get involved in the process and let us know what you want your parks to be.”