3. The Rockaways are home to the only wildlife preserve in the National Park System

Jamaica Bay marshland. Photo via Flickr by Costa Constantinides

Anyone who says they don’t want to move to New York because of its lack of nature and animals should visit the Rockaways. Closer to the Queens side of the peninsula, you can find a bevy of nature preserves. Averne’s Dubos Point Wildlife Sanctuary and the Brant Point Wildlife Sanctuary are each home to wide varieties of wildlife and natural creatures.

One of the most notable wildlife sanctuaries in New York is the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for rare birds. More than 300 rare species call this small area on Broad Channel, Queens their home. The area is full of unique habitats, including salt marshes, fields, woods, and bays, and offers a series of hikes, boat trips, lectures and more for the intrepid explorer. The landscape of the park changed drastically when Robert Moses opened two large water ponds, East Pond and West Pond.

Currently, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve is the only wildlife preserve in the National Park System.

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