My husband and I took a boat ride last week aboard this vessel that was a National Park Ranger sponsored ecology tour of Jamaica Bay, which is part of Gateway National Recreation Area. Jamaica Bay is primarily located in the southwestern tip of Long Island in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, in New York City.
(All photos can be enlarged by clicking on once, and then again when a new page opens.)
Above is a photo of a map of Jamaica Bay that the rangers handed out on the boat. The area within the dashes is all part of Gateway National Recreation Area. We would be traveling past nesting islands and verdant marshes that are located in the bay.
A few photos of the scenery that we saw from the boat as we pass under the Marine Park - Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and sailed past Riis Park, Belle Harbor, and the Rockaways. In the bottom middle photo you can see the bar/restaurant called The Warf that I blogged about previously.
The building in the lower left is the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. It was decorated in red white and blue for this special event:
Please take a few minutes to watch this video which shows the Wounded Warrior event that took place in the Rockaways to honor a group of wounded soldiers from the war in Iraq. We owe so much to these brave men and women, and this event will make you feel so proud and happy for them, and for the people who organized this event.
I loved how seagulls and terns followed our boat and I took many photos of them, as you can see by this mosaic.
Jamaica Bay is the best place in New York City to observe seasonal migration of birds. The bay's islands and their ponds are a key layover spot for birds along the Atlantic Flyway.
A few snowy egrets that I spotted as we sailed by.
The island of Manhattan shining in the distance. The Empire State building can be seen in the middle.
Jamaica Bay is in the middle of the New York metropolitan area, and the uplands around the bay, as well as much of the Rockaway barrier beach, are dominated by urban residential, commercial, and industrial development. One example of this can be seen here as one of the islands is called "Subway Island" as the A train passes over it on its way to the Rockaways.
A subway passing over the bridge from Subway Island.
In order for boat traffic to pass through the subway bridge this trestle swings around and opens.
Here it is after our boat passed through.
John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York is also in close proximity to Jamaica Bay and most airplanes fly right over it. The airport is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States
Many airplanes flew right over us when we were sailing in close proximity to the airport.
It is amazing to me that nature and civilization have found a harmonious way to exist. I am glad that most of the waters and marshes of Jamaica Bay have been protected since 1972 as part of the Gateway National Recreation Area under the auspices of the National Park Service, and that conservation is now in effect to preserve this valuable part of our environment from further development.
Our boat ride ended in a beautiful sunset and in our greater appreciation for part of the waters that surround New York City. For such a populous city we are fortunate to have such beautiful links to nature right at our front door.
I'm adding this post to Mosaic Monday on Marys blog Little Red House. Please visit Mary today to see her beauriful mosaics and links to many participating blogs and their wonderful outdoor posts.