Flushing Bay, New York
Flushing Bay is a tidal embayment in New York City. It is located on the south side of the East River and stretches to the south near the neighborhood of Flushing, Queens. It is bordered on the west by LaGuardia Airport and the Grand Central Parkway, on the south by Northern Boulevard, and on the east by the neighborhood of College Point. The Flushing River empties into the bay at its southeast corner. A 150-foot-wide navigational channel (46 m) dredged at a depth of 14 feet (4.3 m) runs along much of the bay's length.
Flushing Bay was an important source of food for the Matinecock tribe of Native Americans and early European settlers, providing fish, shellfish, and waterfowl. After the American Civil War, the area surrounding the bay became waterfront resort for the wealthy. The World's Fair Marina, constructed for the 1964 New York World's Fair, is located on the southern end of the bay. The marina is part of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park and is bordered by the 1.4-mile-long (2.3 km) Flushing Bay Promenade. The Williamsburgh Yacht Club is situated on the east side of Flushing Bay in College Point. Established in Brooklyn in 1865, the yacht club moved to North Beach (now LaGuardia Airport) in 1896.
The present shoreline of Flushing Bay has been largely altered by the development of LaGuardia Airport. Before the airport opened in December 1939, millions of cubic yards of landfill were added to the western shoreline of the bay to create space for runways. In 1966, the Port Authority extended the northern end of Runway 4-22 by 2,000 feet (610 m) and the western end of Runway 13-31 by 1,500 feet (460 m) by constructing a 50-acre (20 ha), pile-supported concrete deck over parts of Flushing Bay, including the Rikers Island Channel. In the 1990s, approximately 20 acres (8 ha) of Flushing Bay were filled in to create an overrun at the eastern end of Runway 13-31. To offset the loss of wetlands, new wetlands were constructed adjacent to the airport in Flushing Bay and in Little Neck Bay.
The New York City Department of Sanitation North Shore Marine Transfer Station is located in College Point on the eastern shore of Flushing Bay. From 1954 to 2001, it was used to transfer garbage from trucks to barges. A new marine transfer station at this location is presently under construction (as of January 2012). Concerns have arisen given its proximity to a flight path into LaGuardia Airport, although the city government insists that the design includes adequate safeguards that will prevent the facility from attracting flocks of birds that might be harmful to aviation.
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