A few days ago, we reported on a vision that (thankfully) never came to be – high-density settlement on the islands of Jamaica Bay. A documentary that has traced the history and community of Jamaica Bay will premiere on March 17th at the Queens World Film Festival in New York – and is the only film being made that was actively shooting in Jamaica Bay before Hurricane Sandy, documenting both the environmental and human devastation to this natural resource. Saving Jamaica Baynarrated by Susan Sarandon and directed by David Sigal is more than an environmental film however, it tells the story of a community.

For years, Jamaica Bay was seen more as an industrial resource, from the plans to build a port and canal and the infill atop salt marshes to make John F. Kennedy Airport and many neighborhoods. It was a dumping ground for the city’s garbage, for mobsters, and for the sewage of residents. And yet, through various efforts, it still persists, though still at risk to storms and pollution.

As documentary team tells us, “At its core, the film is the story of how one community – led by a family with roots in the area stretching back more than 100 years – fought the city, the state, the Port Authority and a superstorm to clean up and restore the bay, the largest open space in New York City.”

The Saving Jamaica Bay website provides some fun facts about Jamaica Bay:

  • It is New York City’s largest open space – larger than Central Park, Prospect Park and Van Cortlandt Park combined
  • Home to the only national wildlife refuge in the country (and possibly the world) that is accessible by subway
  • It’s within a ten-minute drive of 800,000 New Yorkers

Check out the trailer and get tickets to the premiere of Saving Jamaica Bay at the Queens World Film Festival, where it will screen at the Museum of the Moving Image.

Next, discover 18 microneighborhoods in NYC.