August 31st, 2009 -
The Bronx Swamp is an abandoned, flooded railroad line below the streets of Mott Haven. Its waters are a bright and unnatural green, the color of antifreeze. It is home to birds, rats, raccoons and mosquitoes, and has been used as a dumping ground for years. One local told the Daily New Yorker that "dead animals and a human body" were found in the swamp, while the Mott Haven Herald reports that the "foul odor" rising from the swamp's "plastic bags, broken beer bottles, planks of decaying wood, and abandoned basketballs" has forced residents to consider moving out of the neighborhood. The city acknowledges the Bronx Swamp is a health risk - the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene regularly sprays it with larvacide to curb the spread of mosquitoes potentially infected with the West Nile Virus.
The railroad line underneath the waters of the Bronx Swamp was "formally abandoned" in 2004 by the CSX Corporation, according to the NY Daily News, but - as one resident stated in The Epoch Times - "I've lived here for 17 years and the water's been there just as long." Today, the swamp is scheduled for a major cleanup. It is currently being drained of "more than 150,000 gallons of stagnant water," according to the NY Times. After draining, bulldozers will remove its assorted debris. However, the city has been unable to locate the current owners of the Bronx Swamp and so, as the NY Times states, "the fate of the land remains unclear."