Topics: On the Media - WNYC
The neighborhood is situated around Gerritsen Creek , the westernmost inlet of Jamaica Bay ;  the creek's path within the neighborhood was covered in 1920.   During the last 5,000 years, strips of sand were deposited by ocean currents. These beach strips form a surf-barrier and allow salt marshes to thrive:
.Gerritsen Creek was a freshwater stream that once extended about twice as far inland as it does today. Around 1920 the creek north of Avenue U was converted into an underground storm drain. Yet it continues to supply the salt marsh with fresh water, which helps the marsh support a wide range of organisms.. 
The area was a hunting and fishing ground for Native Americans from the nearby village of Keshawchqueren. Pits for cooking and preparing food dating from 800 to 1400 AD were uncovered in Marine Park, along with deer and turtle bones, oyster shells, and sturgeon scales. In the 17th century, the Dutch began to settle in the area, which had similarities to the marshland and coastal plains of the Netherlands. The land proved to be fairly good farmland and there was an abundance of clams, oysters, and game from the region as well.