On Thursday, October 27, 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed an agreement to jointly manage over 10,000 acres of federal and city land in and around Jamaica Bay improving parks and water quality throughout the Bay, including Floyd Bennett Field. This collaboration was the key recommendation of the RPA-staffed Floyd Bennett Field Blue Ribbon Panel. City Hall and the US Department of the Interior will now move forward to develop a jointly-managed vision and governance structure, creating a Jamaica Bay master plan that will guide the redevelopment and management of both the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation as well as adjoining city parkland, like Marine Park and Rockaway Beach. One specific goal will be to increase the accessibility of these parks, including improvements to the Jamaica Bay Greenway, where RPA is leading a public -private coalition.
"The parks in and around Jamaica Bay are natural and recreational treasures, all the more so because of their location right in the heart of the Nation's largest metropolitan area" said Robert D. Yaro, President of Regional Plan Association. "We congratulate Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Mayor Michael Bloomberg for establishing the framework that was needed to make this area a premier regional destination."