Southern Brooklyn

Cymbrowitz: Don’t Kill Sheepshead Bay’s Swans!

Source: Cymbrowitz's office
The swan found injured on Emmons Avenue.

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, regarding the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposal to eliminate mute swans from New York State:

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves – including Sheepshead Bay’s mute swans.

The lawmaker, who is a member of the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, will be working with Suffolk County Assemblyman and committee chair Robert Sweeney to convince the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to seek an alternative to its plan to shoot or gas the state’s 2,200 mute swans by 2025.

The swans destroy habitat for native ducks and geese, which is why DEC has proposed declaring the birds a “prohibited invasive species.” They’ve also been known to behave aggressively toward people.

Still, the elegant and graceful birds are as iconic to Sheepshead Bay as the Emmons Avenue promenade and fishing boats, says Assemblyman Cymbrowitz.

“There are other ways of dealing with the swan population that are non-lethal,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. He said that he and Assemblyman Sweeney will be working with DEC to make sure that “any and all alternatives are thoroughly explored” before the agency issues its final verdict on the swans later this year.

Last year, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ office came to the rescue of an injured swan that was found sitting on the sidewalk on East 19th Street across from the bay.

“As a society, we need to co-exist with all of our neighbors. The state’s immediate reaction to dealing with a troublesome species shouldn’t be to murder it,” he said.

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  1. I hope that the Assemblyman’s office will really do something about this and not just use it as public relations b.s. Can we count on Sheepshead Bites to stay on top of this for us?

  2. I don’t even agree that the species is troublesome. How can they be a danger to aviation when I never even se them fly. Sure they will be agressive to humans if you attack their nests. The other charges are also made up. How are tey supposed to dedicate? In a bathroom? This whole thing is just utterly disgusting on the part of the state.

  3. I spoke to the Assemblyman’s office a number of times, though not recently, about humans not just sprinkling bread crumbs in the Bay, but actually dumping large bags filled with Whole Loaves into the Bay, causing a frenzy.

    I used to ask people not to be doing this. I was always met with anger at my requests & retorts that if they (these humans) did not feed the birds, swans in particular, they would starve.

    We need signs posted everywhere along Emmons Avenue (I really don’t see people on the Manhattan Beach side doing this) explaining why feeding the birds will cause their deaths by the government because of overpopulation, pollution to the Bay, etc. Then, FINE these humans, give a large monetary fine for feeding them. Have police issue tickets & make them stick.

    And, it wouldn’t hurt if people other than me would openly repudiate the feeders by calm intervention, no fighting or rudeness. Please, get involved.

  4. I hope he does something about this!!!!!! These swans survive “Sandy” & now they wanna kill them!!!!!!!! This city makes me sick….Maybe the public should protest for them since this community dont know this is going to happen….God bless these beautiful creatures<3

  5. yup, thats right. people are coming up with a huge plan where time and resources will be invested just because they feel like killing things. there couldn’t possibly be any studies out there that have been conducted on the swans and their effect on an ecosystem over a long period of time. reading the article and researching the studies is just too much work. everyone is evil!

    and bread is plenty good for swans, after all, before people dumped pounds of it into the bay, the swans were hard at work in their bread factories making bread to eat. without people feeding them, they would die! bread doesn’t cause any nutritional deficiencies either, its what they naturally eat! if you want to feed them garbage you go right ahead! why should you actually think for a minute that you’re feeding an animal something that has NO place in its diet? if you enjoy something, you should have it. forget the ecosystem!

    and no one has ever been bit by a swan ever. why would they even come that close to people, it’s not like they expect food from anyone! of course they aren’t aggressive. and a bird that size only needs a territory of 2 inches, how could they take up space for native birds?

    and why would anyone listen to WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTS? they don’t know anything! ugh!

  6. “and no one has ever been bit by a swan ever”
    Not true, although I have never seen or heard of an incident locally. I used to live in Zurich, Switzerland & the swans would frequently leave the Limmat River only to bite people, especially kids near their own size. I actually found it hilarious to see, swans chasing people off the riverbank! There were no nests about, either, these mute swans are beautiful, graceful, but definitely can get nasty for no reason known to us. However, anytime any animal is protecting its young should never be considered a violent act.

    If there have been incidents locally not involving nests I would like to see some documentation.

  7. I’m sorry for you that you have never seen them fly. They do indeed fly, although not for long distances & only near the surface. They are breathtaking to see, BklynBus, it’s just awesome!

  8. Swans dangerous? What did they do? Are they racists? Did they look mean at a young child?
    Don’t kill the swans. Kill the agency that’s wasting my money and threatening my darlings. Two problems solved at once.

  9. “The swans destroy habitat for native ducks and geese”, which our USDA also uses tax payer money to kill. We should just leave whatever wildlife that can survive what we have done to the environment alone..

  10. NO to relocation. Relocate the Environmental Conservation Agency of New York. Out of New York, that is. Give the right guys the boot.

  11. Please send a letter before Feb 21 to the NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, Swan Management Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 and send an email to:
    [email protected] insisting on saving the MUTE SWANS of Sheepshead Bay and Jamaica Bay!!
    Thanks to Ned Berke for making this story public!!

  12. Killing something because it’s not native…hmm, perhaps we should kill off the entire american populace because only a few Indian tribes can be deemed native based on our comprehension of aboriginal life in America.

  13. Thank you for posting this today, after yesterdays no swan pictures please you had me worried, to all of the lover’s of Nature and of these beautiful birds please keep speaking out and sending letters, I emailed the the mayor and the governor yesterday about this insanity. Please get as many friends to sign the petitions this month before they pass this law.


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