Last year, a diver exploring for artifacts off the coast of Brooklyn found a three-inch bomb and 1,500 rounds of 20mm ammunition. Within months, the Coast Guard established a safe zone around the unexploded munitions—located near the Brooklyn tower of the Verrazano Bridge—which became official last month: boats, fishermen and divers must stay at least 70 yards away from the bridge’s tower until the explosives are removed, the Home Reporter reports.
Local officials are upset about the loose timetable for removing the potential hazards, believed to come from a navy vessel that capsized in 1954, but the paper reports others are worried that this cache is just the beginning.
“The barge that broke loose with that one incident was found upside down in Rockaway Beach with no shells on it,” [Assemblymember William] Colton said. “That particular area was used to transport munitions for 100 years. My concern is that we still have to be concerned about other munition shells that are in the ocean bottom.”
Colton believes that the munitions will not detonate “as long as they are left undisturbed,” but he notes that circulating plans to dredge in a part of Gravesend Bay adjacent to the safe zone “could create a massive problem.”