Jamaica Bay is an 18,000-acre marshy estuary on the coast of Kings, Queens, and Nassau County in New York City. Not only is Jamaica Bay home to thousands of New York residents living along the coast, it is also home to wildlife and an important stop for many migratory bird and insect species. The Audubon Society estimates that nearly half of the Northeast’s bird species migrate through Jamaica Bay every year. One of NYC’s few remaining salt marshes, Jamaica Bay also serves as a vital ecological buffer that helps protect communities along the coast from sea level rise.
As part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the only urban national park in the country, Jamaica Bay is largely protected. However, the Bay is still continually threatened by loss of wildlife and pollution. Residents along the Bay were largely inundated during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. While many of these regions along the Bay have largely recovered, sea level rise poses an imminent threat to these increasingly vulnerable communities.
Featured White Paper
Nathan Kensinger is the Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center’s 2021-2022 Guest Research Fellow. Kensinger is a journalist, photographer and filmmaker whose work explores hidden urban landscapes, forgotten waterways, environmental disasters, and coastal communities endangered by sea level rise and climate change. Kensinger’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Queens Museum, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, and the National Lighthouse Museum.
Robin Michals is a photographer whose work focuses on environmental issues. Her series Our Neighborhood juxtaposes sites of residential life across the US with the infrastructure of the fossil fuel industries. In 2020, the series was one of eight winners of the 7th Tokyo International Photography Competition and part of the 8th Edition of THE FENCE. It was selected for Critical Mass Top 50 in 2019. She teaches photography at New York City College of Technology, City University of New York (CUNY) and lives in Brooklyn.