8 THE QUEENS COURIER • JANUARY 9, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Queens lawmakers continue fi ghting to protect
Jamaica Bay after Cuomo vetoes legislation
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Two Queens lawmakers and community
leaders are continuing the fi ght to
protect Jamaica Bay aft er Gov. Andrew
Cuomo vetoed legislation to protect the
bay from dredge material contaminants
brought in to fi ll deep portions of the bay.
State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. and
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheff er Amato
were joined by Assemblywoman Jaime R.
Williams and community leaders Tuesday
morning at the Cross Bay Kiteboarding
Launch Area in Broad Channel.
Th e lawmakers are planning to reintroduce
the legislation that would extend a
bill that was put in place in 2014 that corrected
the longstanding problem of the
use of sub-quality dredging material to fi ll
in the borrow pits of Jamaica Bay, which is
expected to expire on June 30, 2022.
“Since we’ve done the protection of
Jamaica Bay marine life has certainly
improved,” Addabbo said. “Th e unique
marine life are here only because of the
quality of this bay and if we think about
it in terms of a time frame that’s even
aft er Hurricane Sandy decimated the bay
around surrounding communities.”
Borrow pits, also known as a sandbox, is
an area where material such as soil, gravel
or sand has been dug up for use at another
location. In his Dec. 27 veto statement,
Cuomo said the legislation would change
the criteria for fi ll Jamaica Bay borrow
pits to comply with the federal criteria
for the unrestricted ocean dumping of
dredged material, which is not applicable
to Jamaica Bay.
Under the bill, the Department of
Conservation (DEC) would be required
to utilize more restrictive, and costly federal
ocean dumping criteria to test the
materials instead of DEC’s existing standard,
and further, the legislation would
make the enhanced standard permanent.
Disappointed and surprised by
Cuomo’s decision to veto the legislation,
Dan Mundy Jr., president of the Broad
Channel Civic Association and vice president
of the Jamaica Bay Eagle Watchers,
said they’re hoping to persuade the governor
to save the environment.
“Aft er 30 years of work, Jamaica Bay is
the cleanest we’ve ever seen,” Mundy said.
“Th is summer we had a humpback whale
inside the bay, right now we have a resident
seal population. Our group conducts
scuba diving operations out here on
a regular basis and we have a 70-foot-deep
amazing shipwreck that we’re exploring.”
Betty Braton, chair of Community
Board 10, said the governor’s decision to
veto the bill was “very shortsighted” and
she hopes he reconsiders.
“For many of us here, it’s been a lifelong
work to make sure that this bay comes
back to what it once was. You know, history
tells us some bad decisions were
made over the years. It had a very serious
impact and people were working very
hard to turn that around,” Braton said. “I
hope that our legislators will continue the
work they’ve been doing, which has been
outstanding getting this bay back to what
it once was: a jewel.”
Meanwhile, Amato said they’re going
to work with the DEC to come to a compromise.
“I’ve been honored to take this to the
next level. Th e veto was very disappointing
and this is why we’re here today, we’re
going to dust ourselves off and come to
an understanding of what we need in the
community and how to protect Jamaica
Bay. Th e fi ght won’t stop,” Amato said.
Photos by Todd Maisel
With the purchase of glasses,
contact lens e l.
2 Boxes of Lenses Frames & Lenses
PLUS FREE 2ND PAIR
* $200 minimum purchase on first pair of designer
frames. Second pair frame from select group with
Must present prior to purchase. Offer valid at this
location only. Not valid with any other offers, sales,
vision plans or packages.
Offer ends 1/31/20
offers, sales, vision plans or packages. Must present
prior to purchase. Offer valid at this location only.
Offer ends: 1/31/20
brand clear sphericalLenses/*Contact
lens fitting additional. Not valid for Toric lenses. Not valid with
any other offers, sales, vision plans or packages. Must
present prior to purchase. Offer valid at this location only.
Some restrictions apply, see store for details.
Offer ends: 1/31/20
Select frames with clear plastic, single vision lensas
vision plans or packages. Must present prior to purchase.
Offer valid at this location only. Some restrictions apply,
see store for details
Offer ends: 1/31/20
NEW YEAR'S SALES FLEX
OR LOSE IT"