Press Release Article


Date: Jun 14, 2002
Press Release Number: 68-2002

Joins State, Federal and Local Agencies in ‘Operation Clean Sweep’

Port Authority maintenance crews from John F. Kennedy International Airport are taking part in Operation Clean Sweep, a National Park Service initiative to remove discarded boats from Jamaica Bay. The effort officially begins on Saturday, June 15.

“Removing these potentially hazardous materials from the bay is a great opportunity for the airport to be a good neighbor to surrounding communities,” said Al Graser, General Manager of Kennedy Airport. “If a passing pleasure craft collides with a partially sunken speedboat, the results could be disastrous. Furthermore, abandoned boats often leak oil, causing environmental problems. Others collect rainwater – a possible breeding area for disease-carrying mosquitoes.”

JFK maintenance crews, using cables, trucks and heavy construction equipment, haul the boats out of the water. They will be mechanically crushed into small pieces and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner at the Port Authority’s expense.

Other agencies involved include the Gateway National Park Services, United States Coast Guard, New York City Police Department Harbor Unit, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York City Department of Sanitation, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Jamaica Bay Eco-Watch and Friends of Marine Park.

The project will continue throughout the summer. It will end on New York State Beach Cleanup Day, September 21, 2002.

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