Toxi City: Exploring Brooklyn's Industrial Legacy

Sheepshead and Plum Beach

Posted in Brooklyn,Plum Beach,Sheepshead Bay by Robin on January 18, 2010

Sheepshead Bay is named for a fish that no longer lives there. I assume can no longer live there due to whatever it is that we have done to the water.

Sheepshead Bay

The birds certainly seem domesticated. I had seen Natalie Jeremijenko speak on Friday night at Exit Art. One of the projects she spoke about was fish food that would help remediate the heavy metals in fish while taking advantage of people’s desire to feed the animals.

Recreational fishing seems to be a big business here. Even on this January day, there were a number of boats that were out. I couldn’t help wonder how far the boats go out, what they catch, and how safe the fish are to eat.

I am guessing that within my lifetime, Randazzo’s clamhouse served shellfish from Brooklyn and Queens. Or at least Long Island. My guess is that now they do not. Certainly, the industrial pollution was worse in the past say one hundred years ago.

Randazzo's Clam house

If you keep walking down Emmons Avenue past the Knights of Columbus and all the empty condos, you get to Plum Beach. The fist thing I saw is that some people are eating the shellfish. or at least are digging for it.

man digging for clams on Plum Beach

Plum Beach

In someways, it is a lovely beach. There is a real sense of life. Birds are all around and clams spit water up from the sand.

Plastic bag on beach

There is also just a lot of garbage. Of every kind.

bottle on beach

The Belt Parkway runs along the edge of the beach further undermining its integrity. In the past, there must have been wharves in this part of the bay. It is a strange place, at once filled with natural beauty and also very visibly compromised.

Plum Beach