The Dredge Research Collaborative and Public Laboratory (Gena Wirth and Rob Holmes) visited Yellow Bar Island in Jamaica Bay in mid-July to document progress on the Army Corps of Engineers project that aims to restore eroding salt marsh habitat with recycled dredge material.
Visible in these images is the flat expanse of newly constructed ground, composed of clean sand dredged from the Ambrose Channel, the main shipping channel leading to the port of NY/NJ.
Salt Marsh Cordgrass, (likely Spartina patens) is seen here in pixellated form, as small, approx 2'-5' diameter hummocks of preexisting marsh. These green clumps are a complex marsh matrix of sediment, Spartina, and ribbed mussel, which in a functional ecosystem colonize the base of the cordgrass and stabilize the marshland. Past the dotted fringe of cordgrass clumps is the expansive island interior, touched in a more economical fashion with a grid of fences marking Spartina plug planting zones. We speculate that the fence grid acts as a goose deterrent, preventing flocks from landing and feasting on the newly planted plugs.
Also pictured at left is the constructed island-on-a-constructed-island used by the Army Corps for material and equipment storage, located just above the high tide line.
Look for geolocated updates soon with historic marsh underlays. At the moment we're struggling with the fact that this island is literally "off the map" but looking for survey information to use for alignment.
An FAA permit/ waiver was required to balloon map in this zone, as the area was within 5 miles of JFK Airport (approx 2 mi west). We submitted FAA permit 7711-2 to the NY FSDO Assistant Principal Operations Inspector Bruce Limpitlaw at the NYFSDO. Prior to submitting the form we had to receive verbal confirmation from Kennedy Tower that the balloon flight at the specified diameter and proposed height (5', 300' max) would not be a problem. Kennedy Tower complied and the FSDO was able to approve the waiver, allowing us to issue the notice to airmen per Public Laboratory's instructions. It is recommended that this process begin at least 5 days in advance of any trips.