Paerdegat Basin Park Preserve
Habitat Type: Grassland, Salt Marsh
This marshy East Flatbush park includes a 1.25-mile channel that empties into Jamaica Bay in nearby Bergen Beach. Paerdegat Basin, whose name means “horse gate,” in Dutch, is a saltwater wetland area that supports both black-crowned (Nycticorax nycticorax) and yellow-crowned night herons (Nyctanassa violacea). Clapper rails (Rallus longirostris) are heard here in warmer months while winter is a good time for spotting ducks. According to the Brooklyn Bird Club, 100 black skimmers (Rynchops niger) were once seen congregating on a sandbar here.
The Park’s upland contains groves of native trees like smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) and non-native trees like the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Although the basin consists of over 160 acres, more than 75 of those are underwater. There are currently no access points to the basin and the best view of the water is from the Belt Parkway, which spans this vital natural habitat.
Paerdegat Basin Park Preserve is not currently accessible to the public.