As the former Fresh Kills landfill continues to be transformed into a park, scientists are finding new species of animals and plant life. For the first time, college students are also taking part in the research. Ny1's Aaron Dickens has the story.
The black drum fish gets its name from the "drumming like" sound it makes underwater. Scientists say this is the first time it’s being found at Freshkills Park. The fish, common to Delaware and Florida can grow up to 45 pounds.
Parks Officials say Fresh Kills Park attracts scientists from all over the world who are now finding several types of species never seen in the borough.
College students from the City University of New York's Honors program surveyed the animals and plant life in the park Sunday. It was John Varriano's first time to the site. The Dongan Hills native is a student at Hunter College.
"Not only are they converting the dump image of Staten Island. Now they are doing something with it. Now they are making it a community place that people can go to," said the Hunter College student.
Students took pictures and wrote down what they found.
The students will take the information they gathered here and write a scientific paper. Parks Officials say that information will be very useful for future research.
"We want to bring in more research to the site to be able to study the change that is happening here," said Cait Field, manager for Science and Research Development at the park.
Changes officials say are vital to the park's construction. Parts of the site are expected to open in the next decade. Events are held there regularly. Students like Varriano say the park will play an important role in borough's future.