The polluted Sheepshead Bay

Residents wrinkle noses at Sheepshead Bay after rains

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Sheepshead Bay stinks to high heavens, say nose-holding residents who want the city to fumigate the foul-smellng waterway as soon as possible.

Manhattan Beach resident Mike Baglivo and others claim that the bay smells disgusting after heavy rains, when the city’s over-taxed sewer system overflows and discharges storm water and feces-filled household waste into the bay.

“Sheepshead Bay smells terrible after storms,” said Baglivo, who lives a block from the water. “The city needs to clean this up.”

Baglivo isn’t the only resident who says the bay could use some help.

“I had guests stay over who complained about the smell,” said Joyce Arberman, who lives a short distance from the water. “I never noticed, but maybe I don’t have a strong enough sense of smell.”

Yet others dismissed the claims, saying the water quality has actually improved over time.

“It’s probably cleaner now than it’s ever been,” said a manager at the Stella Maris Fishing Station — a decades-old bait and tackle shop on Emmons Avenue near E. 27th Street — who asked not to be identified. “I don’t think there’s any problem.”

Theresa Scavo, the chairwoman of Community Board 15, said the issue hasn’t come up.

“I haven’t received any complaints,” Scavo said.

The swan-filled bay, which stretches from West End Avenue to Knapp Street, is a popular fishing destination. But the water is often littered with plastic bottles, wrappers, and other debris from residents who live nearby and shop at stores along Emmons Avenue, residents say.

The Department of Environmental Protection did not return calls seeking comment about residents’ complaints.

The agency has spent millions in an attempt to reduce the flow of storm water and human waste into the city’s waterways.

The agency also opened a $404-million sewage treatment facility last March designed to protect nearby Jamaica Bay from waste water overflows.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at
Updated 5:10 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reader feedback

dana from brighton says:
i pass by the bay every day on my way to kcc. never smelled a thing. sounds like this guy Mike Baglivo needs to wash his upper lip that he is smelling.
May 16, 2012, 6:14 pm
renee from manhattan beach says:
this sounds like a fictional article.
May 31, 2012, 9:31 am
Libby from Bensonhurst says:
I work around here and take a walk around the piers every single day. I can't believe people don't smell what's going on. It's disgusting and completely polluted. I'd post a picture on here if I could to showcase how disastrous the pollution of this water area has gotten. To even think that ducks and swans live, drink, and bathe in this water disgusts me to my core. I'm actually looking up right now who to contact about this because I don't think it's acceptable.
Aug. 2, 2016, 10:41 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

MetroPlus Roosevelt Savings Bank Coney Island Hospital Brookdale VillageCareMax
Schneps Community News Group

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: