Jamaica Bay Documentary Explores Preservation and Restoration After Sandy

A documentary about Jamaica Bay more than five years in the making will be making its world premiere later this month. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.

When Dan Hendrick started production on his feature documentary "Saving Jamaica Bay" more than five years ago, he set out to explore the area's rich ecosystem as well as its contrast with the city around it

"For so many years it's been this kind of place that New York has kind of forgotten about,” said Hendrick, the film’s producer. “And we put a lot of things here unfortunately that we didn't want in other places, right? From the airport, to the sewage treatment plant, to landfills; and a lot of people more informally knew the bay as 'Garbage Bay' for many years."

Throughout the film, you meet some of the people who call Jamaica Bay home. Like lifelong Broad Channel resident, Dan Mundy Senior, who has lived on the island since 1938.

"People come down and they sit and look out the window and say wow what a beautiful view! And oh, this is great! But I always say you pay your dues and you don't get nothing for nothing," Mundy said in a documentary interview.

The retired FDNY captain is an advocate for restoring the bay's ecosystem.

"It's the largest open area in the city of New York. And the idea was to preserve it, to get better water quality, to protect the marshes and the habitat and what not. But it evolved into much more," said Mundy.

Both Hendrick and Mundy say no one could have predicted Hurricane Sandy entering the storyline about halfway through production.

"It kind of threw us for a little bit of a loop. We weren't entirely sure where things would go but we were here every day with our cameras rolling," said Hendrick.

"That brought the human aspect into it. The suffering that the people endured, the battle that they now had to incur to themselves back in to survive, to get their homes back together," said Mundy.

If you'd like to see the film Saving Jamaica Bay is making its premiere at the Queens World Film Festival on March 17th

"We are so excited to premiere on our home turf here," said Hendrick.

For more information head to savingjamaicabay.com​.

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