The city Parks Department and the National Park Service (NPS) announced three Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to build and operate kayak and canoe rental stations, bike rental stations and mobile food units on both city and federal parkland throughout Jamaica Bay, the Rockaway Peninsula and the adjoining Gateway National Recreation Area.
“Millions of people visit the Rockaway Beaches each summer, and we’re seeking concessions that will allow both visitors and locals to further explore the natural beauty of the Jamaica Bay region,” said Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “We are hoping to offer opportunities for New Yorkers to bike, eat, and paddle, and are looking to receive proposals from companies or individuals with strong backgrounds in delivering these amenities to the public.”
Jamaica Bay is an 18,000-acre wetland estuary that has numerous islands, a labyrinth of waterways, meadowlands, and two freshwater ponds that support wildlife preservation, as well as urban recreation.
On July 17, 2012, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed an agreement between the National Park Service and the city that the two would cooperatively manage 10,000 acres of federal and city-owned parks in and around Jamaica Bay to promote visitation, education programs, scientific research and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
“We are excited about this opportunity to partner with the city to expand visitor services at our beaches,” said Linda Canzanelli, superintendent for Gateway National Recreation Area. “Expanded opportunities for biking, canoeing and kayaking are great ways to help everyone experience America’s great outdoors and the wonders to be found around Jamaica Bay.”