PU! Jamaica Bay Is Soon to Be Stink-Free


Howard Beach stinks. But soon it won’t smell so bad, because New York’s Department of Environmental protection has just finished building a new, odor-curbing station in Jamaica Bay’s Shellbank Basin.

The area, known to reek of rotting fish during the summer, gets an olfactory reprieve because two new air compressors will pump oxygen into the bay, stopping the sour stench, the DEP announced today. Work on the $3.5 million setup started in September 2010.

Here’s why Shellbank needs the station: during hot months, oxygen-deprived, stinky bottom layers of water — which can’t really support fish life — tend float to the top. These two air compressors will blast air along the bottom of the basin, preventing the problem in the first place.

Shellbank Basin runs from 157th Avenue to the north, Cross Bay Boulevard to the west (near Creek Park), and 85th street to the east (near Frank Charles Park.) It’s anywhere from 10 to 52-feet deep. The plant will start running this summer.

This isn’t the DEP’s first anti-odor effort in Jamaica Bay. In May, the City opened a treatment facility in Canarsie to keep untreated raw sewage and storm water runoff from flooding Paerdegat Basin and Jamaica Bay during heavy rains.