Vernam Barbadoes Preserve occupies the greater part of the Terrapeninsula, which extends into Jamaica Bay in the Rockaway section of Queens. The peninsula is flanked by two silt-filled inlets, the Vernam and Barbadoes Basins. For centuries Rockaway has been an ever-shifting barrier beach, simultaneously protecting the mainland and supporting New York’s coastal wildlife and the rich marshland of Jamaica Bay. In addition to hosting a wide variety of plants and animals, Jamaica Bay is a major stop in the migration cycles of thousands of species of birds. Along with natural features in the Jamaica Bay Parks and Wildlife Refuge, the Vernam Barbadoes Preserve is part of the 64,000 acre Gateway National Recreation Area that was established in 1972.