Jamaica Bay, c.20 sq mi (50 sq km), SW Long Island, SE N.Y., separated from the Atlantic Ocean by Rockaway Peninsula; the Rockaway Inlet links it to the sea. The shallow bay has many islands, and its shores are generally marshy. There is a minimum of water movement, and pollution is a problem. Nearly all of the bay is in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City; since 1950 much of the adjacent area has been reclaimed for housing. John F. Kennedy International Airport extends into the bay. Part of Gateway National Recreation Area, the bay is used for boating and fishing and is a wildlife refuge.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.