Dredging plan for Coney Island Creek ferry site raises toxin concerns

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Coney Island Creek is the proposed site for a New York City ferry that would link lower Manhattan and Coney Island, but because the location is too shallow, it would require dredging.

An environmental impact statement recently completed of the creeks shows high levels of mercury, lead and other toxins.

Natural Resources Protective Association Executive Director Ida Sanoff says it's like having a scab ripped off a cut. She says dredging will rip off a layer of sand that is currently covering up dangerous substances in the water.

"They're just really ignoring public health for economic development," says Sanoff. "It's going to be like an open wound and all of these toxins are just going to be left there to be disbursed."

Sanoff says the creek lies in a residential area with people who swim in the water, hang on the beach and play in the park. It is also a big spot for fishing.

The EDC tells News 12 in part, "In order to contain contamination throughout the process, we will employ the use of dredging equipment that minimizes sediment disturbance, often called environmental dredge buckets, and turbidity curtains surrounding the site in order to capture any sediment from dispersing."

The fishing pier in Kaiser Park is one of the possible locations for the Coney Island Ferry dock, where service is scheduled to begin in 2021.

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