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Restaurant owners and residents of the waterfront of the Shellbank Basin in Howard Beach, Queens, will finally get a break from the rotting-fish stench that has been plaguing the neighborhood for decades, reports The New York Times.
The smell largely originates from thousands of rotting fish — bluefish, striped bass, and others — that die in the basin’s water after traveling from Jamaica Bay down the inlet. The water in that particular area doesn’t contain enough oxygen for the fish to survive and their corpses accumulate, causing an odor that only gets worse in the summer when the water heats up.
The City of New York’s Department of Environmental Protection just completed construction on a compressor that will pump air into the water through 3,800 feet of tubing laid on the basin floor. Though the Times reports that the water currently smells fresh by New York City standards, Howard Beach residents say they are reserving judgment until summer.