[Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Transpoman]
The stench of Flushing Bay is well-known to anyone who's lived near the polluted waterway, or who found themselves at LaGuardia Airport when the wind is cutting the wrong way. The unmistakeable odor—often compared to rotten eggs or poop—is caused by combined sewer overflow (the same problem afflicting the mega-polluted Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek), which dumps raw sewage, oil, and other icky contaminants into the bay. But thanks to efforts by the Department of Environmental Protection, being near the bay may soon become a more pleasant olfactory experience: DNAInfo reports that the DEP will begin dredging 16.8 acres of the bay in 2016, with a projected completion in 2019; the project is estimated to cost $47 million.
Once the project is underway, the DEP will work on digging up sediment from the bottom of the bay, with some parts going as deep as four feet down. The plan also calls for restoring the wetlands surrounding Flushing Bay, which borders LaGuardia and the neighborhoods of College Point and East Elmhurst. City Council member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, who represents the district that includes East Elmhurst, said in a statement that the cleanup is "a huge relief," and will "improve the quality of life for residents of East Elmhurst, the surrounding neighborhoods and anyone who flies out of LaGuardia Airport."
Add Flushing Bay to the list of polluted NYC waterways that are getting cleaned up in the coming years: Brooklyn's Superfund sites, the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek, are in various stages of their respective dredging and cleaning processes; meanwhile, groups are still pushing for an overhaul of the Flushing River, as Nathan Kensinger reported for Curbed last year.
· City Launching $47M Clean-Up To End Rotten Egg Smell Near LaGuardia [DNAInfo]
· Queens' 'Forgotten River' Looks Ahead to Cleanup and Change [Curbed]