Just when it looked safe to return to Bowne Park pond, the red tide algae has reappeared to plague Flushing park visitors.
The ill-fated pond has suffered from sometimes-toxic red tide algae most of the summer because the fountains were turned off and the water was not getting aerated.
After some tinkering, the Parks Department announced in July that the two fountains had been turned on and the algae was gone.
But a few weeks later, the algae had returned and one of the fountains had stopped working. Regular park goer Sharon Wohlgemuth said the only way the city is going to eliminate the problem is to clean the bottom of the pond.
“As soon as the fountains are turned off, the algae comes back,” Wohlgemuth said.
She was told it would cost $8,000 to clean out the pond and will contact Wanda Beck-Antosh, president of the Bowne Park Civic Association, to organize a fundraiser so they can offer the money to the Parks Department.
James Cervino, a marine biologist and environmental chairman of Community Board 7, agrees with Wohlgemuth’s assessment. He said it’s necessary to stop the source of pollution, which is probably a combination of sewage, plant nutrients and animal waste.
A spokesman at the Parks Department said a small section of algae returned to the lake after one of the aerating fountains broke, and a separate drainage problem “forced us to temporarily shut down the fresh water circulating in the lake. The water has since been turned back on, and we expect to have the broken fountain repaired by the end of next week.”
Jerry Kaplan, another Bowne Park regular, had complained for weeks that trash cans are missing and that the existing ones are overflowing. A Parks spokesman said several trash cans were recently stolen from the park after chains holding them down were cut. “We have ordered new trash cans and will weld thicker chains directly to these cans to ward off theft. We will also be bringing this theft to the NYPD’s attention.”
He noted that there are 16 cans in the 12-acre park and that three were stolen.