Public Lab Research note

Dragon Boats versus sewage

by eymund | March 19, 2014 21:03 19 Mar 21:03 | #10206 | #10206

Photo credit Steve Duncan of

What I want to do

Work with to build up community coalitions for advocating for cleaning up sewage on the waterfront. Empire Dragon Boat club has a vested interest in this because they launch their boats right next to a pipe that dumps out 5% of NYC's sewage overflows.

Identify key problems for future research

Make these resources available for anyone who wants to pursue research in Flushing Bay watershed.

My attempt and results

Compiled historical maps and data to identify balloon/kite mapping sites for finding solutions to sewage overflow near marina.

PDF: 2014_3_17_Flushing_Bay_Water_Quality_Study_Notes.pdf

Background video on local sewer exploration by

Look for section toward end of this video where spring water from the Magothy aquifer can be seen gushing up into the now piped section of Kissena Creek, one of the main tributaries for the now buried Flushing Meadows marshes. Grassroots Mapping research would try to track down other such watershed springs, based on for example old farm house locations and larger trees. We would then track the course of the buried streams to see if any have been diverted into the overloaded CSO BB-06 Combined Sewer Overflow system..

Steve Duncan, Urban Underground Explorer from Howard Silver on Vimeo.

Questions and next steps

Finding sites where buried streams were connected to combined sewer pipes.

Why I'm interested

Better Boating!!!













Hi Eymund, thanks for including my messy handwriting on post-it notes in your post! This is a fascinating story and i hope some NYCers reach out to this group to do some aerial mapping.

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You can read a good article here by Alex Robinson of the Times Ledger focusing attention on the Flushing Bay water quality challenges:

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Ongoing historical stream research will be posted via Google Maps

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