Hot Spot

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Far Rockaway, NY

The Jamaica Bay unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area contains 18,000 acres of land in New York City. Jamaica Bay has a huge variety of recreational opportunities including fishing, hiking, swimming, archery, kayaking, cycling, and camping. It is one of the only outdoor spaces in New York City to provide this level and type of recreation experience. Jamaica Bay is seeing an ever-increasing number of visitors which has created numerous impacts including litter that is being left on or washes up on the park’s beaches. Additionally, Jamaica Bay is used by the local Indo-Caribbean Hindu community to practice puja, a ritual that involves giving offerings to the Goddess Ganga in the form of fruits, flowers, sarees, statures known as murtis, and pottery. The offerings are often placed in the water and later wash up on the shore as litter. It is also common for other items such as coconuts, sarees, and even animal sacrifice remains to be left on the beach after these rituals.

During this Hot Spot, we educated 140 people, helped facilitate 99 volunteer hours, and removed 18 bags of trash

During Leave No Trace’s time on-site, the team hosted a workshop for National Park Service staff that focused on giving these staffers a better understanding of Leave No Trace skills and ethics as well as how they could communicate the importance of these practices to their visitors. They also teamed up with a local Hindu partner group called Sadhana for a beach cleanup. Sadhana works works to promote progressive ideals within their religion. As part of the clean-up, the Leave No Trace team was able to teach the volunteers a little about Leave No Trace and how they can share these skills and ethics as part of their efforts. Finally, the Leave No Trace staff was able to have many meaningful and educational conversations with the local community at Jacob Riis P{ark both during a busy day and at an evening campfire program.

Your donation helps bring Leave No Trace solutions to these impacted areas.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

Get the latest in Leave No Trace eNews in your inbox so you can stay informed and involved.