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Gerritsen Creek, United States

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Shore Pkwy
Brooklyn
NY 11234
USA


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N40° 35' 8.88" W73° 54' 43.2"   (40.5858, -73.912)
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Gerritsen Creek is a short watercourse in Brooklyn, New York that empties into Jamaica Bay. The creek currently starts near Avenue U, but its original headwaters lay eight streets farther north. That part of the creek was buried in a storm sewer in 1920. The creek's mouth and much of its remaining length is part of a nature conservation area called Marine Park. The creek has been described as one of the "fingers" that formed the original shoreline of Jamaica Bay. The creek lies just beyond the maximum extent of the Wisconsin Glacier. According to Touring Gotham's Archaeological Past, the mill and the dam for its tide pond were between Avenue W and Avenue V, and the mill pond beyond the dam extended past Fillmore Avenue. In recent decades, efforts have been made to restore parts of the creek, particularly the salt marsh near its mouth, to a state closer to its natural one before modern settlement. In 2012 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budgeted $8.3 million for the restoration.
Archeological investigation has determined that Native American people started to settle permanently in the creek's watershed as early as 5000 BC. The creek's name comes from a historic grist mill built on the creek's shore in the 17th century. The mill, a tide mill, the first to be built in North America, was built when the area was colonized by the Dutch. The mill remained in use for hundreds of years, until 1890. There were early proponents of preserving heritage buildings who lobbied for its preservation. Mayor Jimmy "Beau James" Walker was brought to the site to view the structure. However, no efforts were made, and the abandoned building was burned by an arsonist in 1935.
Recreational boaters regularly abandon unwanted and damaged recreational craft near the creek's mouth. The small salvage firm White Cap Marine Towing and Salvage, of Sheepshead Bay, specializes in rescuing or salvaging the smaller recreational vessels and smaller fishing vessels that operate out of the smaller inlets around Jamaica Bay, and is also a franchisee of Sea Tow, the leading marine assistance services company. It has a contract to keep the area clear of abandoned vessels.

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Gerritsen Creek

Address: Shore Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11234, USA
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