I trust everyone had a safe and enjoyable Independence Day.

I wanted to share with anyone interested, an   an update on the water level on 
the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens Co.

Unfortunately, the news is not good. The water is quite high. On the South End 
which is the where the first bit of mudflats would begin to show, the water is 
right up to the phragmites on the edge of the trail before you turn right to 
access the last bit heading towards the pond.

Based on my record keeping of water level and dates, we are once again behind 
on schedule. I do not see any kind of flats opening up until August.

No doubt, the weather has not helped with the excessive rainfall but I have a 
hard time reconciling why we seem to have a repeat of the same situation - it 
seems year after year.

It just so happened that on my way to the pond, I ran into the refuge manager, 
Rick Jenkins. Apparently, he was also checking on the trail conditions and 
water level. You should also know that the trails are not cleared and according 
to Rick, it probably is because  they are muddy and maintenance would be unable 
to get their machines in there to cut. I have urged the trails to be cleared as 
well as the boot washing station to be setup even if the situation on the pond 
is dismal.

Those of us who have worked with NPS over the years with regards to the pond 
drainage know that we have an aging outflow that has reportedly incurred some 
sort of collapsing.

That, coupled with the usual build up of silt over the winter with tides 
require a constant monitoring of the outflow and clearing of the drainage both 
on the bayside and on the pond. Rick assured me that they have been draining 
the pond since March. I did not ask for monthly statistics on the progress of 
the drainage since then but there is no doubt that there is work to be done. 
Rick is going to work with maintenance to see what if anything can be done to 
speed up the drainage.

With all that said, I think it is time to call on NPS for a comprehensive plan 
to address the issue with drainage on the East Pond. We have talked about this 
in the past see my blog post from 2011 
https://birdingdude.blogspot.com/2011/08/tough-shorebirding-season-at-jamaica.html?m=1

But we have yet to really put the pressure on NPS for a “proper” solution. It 
might just be time to get that comprehensive plan in writing from them.

Keeping the faith as alway!
--------
"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of 
others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence." ~ Frederick 
Douglass

風 Swift as the wind
林 Quiet as the forest
火 Conquer like the fire
山 Steady as the mountain
Sun Tzu  The Art of War

> (\__/)
> (= '.'=)                                            
> (") _ (")                                     
> Sent from somewhere in the field using my mobile device! 

Andrew Baksh
www.birdingdude.blogspot.com
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