Staten Island lawmakers Nicole Malliotakis and Sen. Diane Savino are asking the National Parks Service and National Parks Police to provide more night time surveillance at Staten Island beaches after the recent discovery of needles at a north shore park.
The request was made in a joint letter to the National Parks Service following their September 7 cleanup of Fort Wadsworth Beach with the National Park Service and Sand Up Gals, a local environmental group. During the clean up day, volunteers found and removed a total of 15 hypodermic needles on the beach.
“In addition to harming our environment, these needles present a danger to people and animals that enjoy the park,” states the letter, which was also forwarded to Staten Island NYPD Borough Commander Kenneth Corey. “People of all ages, but especially children, are at risk of getting stuck by a discarded needle and run the chance of contracting a blood-borne disease or being exposed to remnants of a drug.”
Savino and Malliotakis acknowledge that the ongoing heroin epidemic is a public health crisis being experienced statewide, but “law enforcement and community organizations are working to tackle it, we cannot ignore its additional impact on quality of life.”
Fort Wadsworth Beach is located on the northeastern shore of Staten Island and sits alongside the New York Harbor and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Brooklyn. On the beach is one of the oldest military-base formerly known as Fort Richmond and now as Fort Wadsworth after Civil War hero, Brigadier General James Wadsworth. The military base was built in 1663 and decommissioned in 1994 and now managed by the National Park Service.
The letter was sent to the Parks Service on October 9, and as of press time, the lawmakers have not received a response.