SCHUMER: STATEN ISLAND’S CROOKES POINT AT GREAT KILLS PARK IS BLIGHTED BY DEBRIS, INCLUDING LIGHTERS, NEEDLES & EVEN DEAD ANIMALS, RUINING SCENIC AREA AND CREATING A POTENTIAL PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD FOR ANGLERS, BEACHGOERS & ANIMALS; SENATOR URGES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO PRIORITIZE CLEANUP EFFORTS ALONG SHORELINE
This Past Weekend, SI Volunteers Spent Hours Picking Up Trash Along the Federally-Owned Crookes Point Fishing Area at Great Kills Park; NPS Maintains the Area But Anglers & Others Have Become Frustrated By Lack of Care
Schumer Urges NPS to Immediately Clean Up Crookes Point – And Keep It That Way; Senator Says the Discovery of Hypodermic Needles & Other Dangerous Trash Highlight Major Public Health Concern
Schumer to NPS: We Need Boots on the Sand ASAP to Clean Up the Beach at Crookes Point and Other Gateway Areas
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the National Park Service (NPS) to prioritize its cleanup efforts at Crookes Point in the Great Kills Park section of Gateway National Recreation Area. A recent story published by the Staten Island Advance reported that Crookes Point has recently been littered with trash, including beer bottles, liquor bottles, food cartons and containers, lighters, needles and even dead animals. Schumer said that the increase in litter has not only turned this portion of the beautiful Staten Island shoreline into an eye sore, but that this littered shoreline has also created a public health hazard for individuals, like the fisherman who frequent the area, as well as the animals and marine life who coexist there.
“Crookes Point is a home away from home for Staten Island anglers, as well as a critical habitat for Staten Island’s marine life, so it’s disappointing that it’s being treated like the local dumping ground,” said Senator Schumer. “Crooke’s Point is federal land and a local gem that draws anglers, families, boaters, and beachgoers. It is the job of the National Park Service to keep the Gateway shoreline clean and I am strongly urging them to get the boots on the sand ASAP at Crookes Point to do just that. Considering the recent troubling report, I am urging NPS to prioritize cleanup efforts at Crookes Point and other Gateway spots under litter and pollution stress so that it continues to be a safe, beautiful and vibrant shoreline for Staten Islanders.”
Schumer has a long history in advocating on behalf of the anglers at Gateway National Recreation Area. In 2013, Schumer successfully called on NPS to maintain a marina at Great Kills Park and get a new concession contract in place to begin rebuilding immediately. After a personal meeting with Schumer and Director Jarvis, NPS committed to maintain the marina at Great Kills Park. The current operator, “Marinas of the Future,” was issued a three year emergency contract. Under law, three years was the maximum amount that NPS can issue an emergency concession contract. There was approximately $348 million of NPS funding in the Sandy Aid Package. This funding was used to repair the wooden boat slips and bulkhead. Additionally, NPS Director Jarvis explained that after the three year emergency contract, the agency would issue a long-term competitive contract, with the goal of expanding services at the marina. NPS provided post-hurricane debris removal at the Marina, including the removal of dozens of sunken boats. In addition, NPS installed new pilings that meet the new resiliency standard, installed new floating docks to create 250 boat slips and installed full water and electric service for all slips.
A copy of Schumer’s letter is below:
Dear Acting Director Reynolds,
I write to bring to your attention a developing situation in the Great Kills Park section of Gateway National Recreation Area. It has recently been reported that Crookes Point, located in Great Kills Park, is being plagued by a variety of different types of litter that make its use for recreation challenging. I urge you to swiftly remedy the situation as soon as possible, making this area a priority, so visitors can maximize this beautiful park during the summer months.
As you know, Gateway National Recreation Area is a critically important outdoor space for New Yorkers seeking to enjoy activities ranging from going to the beach to fishing, especially during the summer months. According to recent press reports, Crookes Point in Great Kills Park has been affected by a constant stream of litter, including beer bottles, liquor bottles, food cartons and containers, lighters, needles and even dead animals. This waste not only poses the risk of affecting park visitors’ experiences; it also has the potential to pose a public health risk. In light of these reports, I urge you to quickly deploy the appropriate resources to ensure that this beautiful and critically important section of the park continues to be clean and safe to use as soon as possible.
I understand that in the current fiscal climate budgets are constrained and, as in the past, I will stand with NPS during the budget process and fight for adequate resources. However, I ask that you prioritize the cleanup and maintenance of the Crookes Point section of Great Kills Park as soon as possible. I look forward to working with you on this important request.
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer
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