Wildlife in the Heart of New York – Dubos Point Wildlife Sanctuary

New York is known for a lot of things. You might know it for its towering skyscrapers, its historic building, or the fact that its home to the Yankees. Those who live in the city think of it as a place full of people, diversity, and entertainment. Those who merely visit the city are so distracted by the lights and sights that they forget the city has more to offer than glitz and glamor and taxi cabs. While it’s true that New York is a haven for high-end shopping, five-star restaurants, and tourists. Of course, you know Central Park is a huge attraction in the city; a piece of nature and splendid views in the center of a world full of sky-high buildings. However, there is more to New York than meets the eye.


You may or may not be aware of the fact that just a short distance from the city is the Dubos Point Wildlife Sanctuary. This small piece of natural land has a long history that is fascinating enough to make you want to visit the sanctuary with your family to learn a little more about the history of saltwater marshes in New York.


Dr. Rene and Mrs. Jean Dubos


Dr. Rene Dubos is the man who you know, but you may not know you know. Born in France in 1901, Dr. Dubos was the first person to introduce modern antibiotics into the world of medicine. In 1939, he was able to isolate an organism that is found in antibiotics; in fact, it was the first microorganism in the first antibiotic ever used commercially. His career was impressive, but it was his later accomplishments for which the Dubos Point Wildlife Sanctuary was named after. He is also the person who came up with the concept, “Think Globally, Act Locally.” Dr. Dubos died in 1982. His wife, Jean, lived until 1988 when the New York Parks Commission acquired 35.9 acre parcel of land in Jamaica Bay. Three years later, the commission acquired an additional 2.1 acres, and in 1997 they acquired an additional 8.7 acres that all comprise Dubos Point Wildlife Sanctuary.


The area now known as Dubos Point Wildlife Sanctuary is a saltwater marsh that is designed to protect Jamaica Bay, which is home to hundreds of different wildlife species, including fish, birds, and butterflies. In addition to protecting Jamaica Bay from pollutants, Dubos Point Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to endangered birds such as the Merlin Falcon and the Peregrine Falcon.


Interesting Facts About Dubos Point Wildlife Sanctuary


What is interesting about this wildlife sanctuary is the fact that it wasn’t always protected. Until 1912, Dubos Point Wildlife Sanctuary was a saltwater marsh. However, a real estate developer filled the marsh with dredged materials in an effort to develop an urban area in New York. Not too long after the area was filled, the real estate developer’s project failed and the former saltwater marsh was left alone. Over the years, the dredged materials began to disappear and the area was once again a saltwater marsh. As it began to reform into its natural state, it also began to protect Jamaica Bay once again. Its new meadowlands helped to stop pollutants from getting into the ocean and it helped to prevent flooding and erosion of land in other places along the New York coast. Now it is home to dozens of different wildlife species, including snowy egrets, ducks, falcons, and heron. The land continues to protect the ocean and the area known as Jamaica Bay from pollutants and natural occurrences that damage the environment.