Thanks to NY Waterway for Marine Radios!

Standard Horizon HX851:: Floating handheld  marine radio with built-in GPS

Standard Horizon HX851:: Floating handheld marine radio with built-in GPS

Part of New York Waterway’s generous sponsorship of HarborLAB was used to buy marine radios to help us maintain safety through communication with other harbor users. THANK YOU!

Our living estuary is also a working harbor. Wise paddlers heed the motto, “Do everything to be seen and be heard. Then assume you’re not seen and not heard.” In other words, use whistles or horns, and more importantly use marine radios, to let larger vessels know where you are. Get brightly colored boats, life vests, and paddles and exceed legal navigation light requirements for canoes and kayaks. Then, having accomplished all that, stay out of the way!

We certainly have freedom of navigation rights, but paddlers must understand that even skillfully captained large vessels need plenty of room to stop and steer. We must make quick and controlled channel crossings and be mindful of traffic patterns. Using VHF  radios, paddlers can usually anticipate traffic by listening to other mariners’ announced course headings. Some modern marine radios, like this model we purchased, have built-in global positioning system transponders to speed help to the scene in an emergency.

Standard Horizon HX851

Funding dropped for USGS monitoring in NYC.

Map of real-time streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day of the year (New York)

As part of budget sequestration, funding for US Geological Survey monitoring of stream flow (which I believe should translate for us into CSO levels) and other conditions has been cut. Suspension of this service is to begin May 1, just as we gear up for our public programs’ season, When these stations are eventually restored, in part through citizen lobbying, we should consider using the USGS customization tools for the NYC Water Trail.
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Below are links, key text sections, and contacts regarding this issue:
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NYC and western Nassau County stations that lost funding –  http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis/rt
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<<NOTICE (04/09/2013) — Funding dropped for USGS monitoring network in the five boroughs of New York City.

Data collection from 213 groundwater stations, 10 surface-water stations, 1 meteorological station, and 133 water-quality stations in the five boroughs of New York and extreme western Nassau County will be suspended at the end of the month (May 1, 2013) due to elimination of the program by a funding partner… For more information or to help support these sites please contact Ron Busciolano (rjbuscio@usgs.gov) or Stephen Terracciano (saterrac@usgs.gov) at the USGS New York Water Science Center, Coram Program Office at(631) 736-0783 or at the emails listed above.>>
Threatened Streamgages
Threatened Precipitation Sites
Threatened Groundwater Sites

USGS to Discontinue Streamgages Due to Sequestration: The U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) will discontinue operation of up to 375 streamgages nationwide due to budget cuts as a result of sequestration. Additional streamgages may be affected if partners reduce their funding to support USGS streamgages. The USGS is working to identify which streamgages will be impacted and will post this information as it becomes available. Streamgages are used nationwide to predict and address drought and flood conditions by monitoring water availability. The USGS and over 850 Federal, State, and local agencies cooperatively fund the USGS streamgaging network, which consists of over 8,000 streamgages. When budget fluctuations occur, the network is impacted.

If you have questions about specific stations or would like additional information,
please contact:

Ward Freeman 

518-285-5665 

wfreeman@usgs.gov

 

Relatedly, Friends of Brook Park alerted us to similar troubles on the beach front:
http://action.surfrider.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7766

Volunteer for Earth Day New York at Union Square! :)

Please help make the Earth Day New York festival at Union Square a great success by volunteering for Sunday morning set-up or Sunday evening pack up. Register as a volunteer by emailing betta@earthdayny.org.

Make sure you mention HarborLAB! Earth Day New York is our 501(c)(3) fiscal conduit for tax deductible donations. Earth Day New York also does great work to promote sustainable design that protects estuary ecology.

Union Square
April 21, 2013
11:00 am – 6:00 pm

We’re taking our annual outdoor Earth Day events to Union Square this year! Union Square has a long history with the Earth Day movement so we’re happy to be returning. The events will include live performances, our green-vehicle runway and exhibition, and exhibits and displays by local and national environmental organizations, local businesses, and corporate partners. The events are all free to attend and open to the public.  Join the Facebook event for updates!

Inwood Dolphins!

CBS News image of a dolphin leaping near Inwood Hill Park.

CBS News reports on its helicopter sighting of dolphins in the Hudson River near Inwood Hill Park. What a beautiful, ancient meeting — this intelligent mammal whose lineages predate our latter primate development by millions of years, and the hill, which is home to Manhattan’s last primeval forest. Around the bend, in Sherman Creek/Swindlers Cove area of the Harlem River, you’ll find the island last remaining natural wetlands, with vitally important spartina grass. The news story features an interview with Riverkeeper, the Hudson River’s chief independent environmental litigator. HarborLAB will soon be paddling these waters too, but the dolphins ought to visit the friendly folks at the Inwood Canoe Club!

May 11: HarborLAB and the Amazing Bronx River Flotilla!

The Bronx River Alliance at work!

HarborLAB is thrilled to support the 2013 Amazing Bronx River Flotilla and the Starlight 5K Canoe Challenge!

This is the tenth anniversary of the Bronx River Alliance, which provides great lessons for other neighborhood waterfront networking organizations, including local pillars like Green Shores NYC and the Newtown Creek Alliance. Among the many achievements for which the Bronx River Alliance and its allies can take credit: putting thousands of kids on the water, sparking the growth of new parks, leading cleanup efforts, and forcing pollution controls upriver. It’s also the opening of Starlight Park!

The Bronx River is NYC’s only true river. Even the mighty Hudson River is pushed back by an arm of the sea, so it’s an estuary within city limits. The Bronx River mouth is certainly estuarine, but fresh waters fall through the New York Botanical Gardens and Bronx Zoo. Its wildlife is abundant, with even the emissary of an ancient Egyptian god!

HarborLAB will be lending five Old Town Saranac 160 canoes to the Flotilla’s public outreach programs and sharing its ten Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 XL kayaks with Bronx River Alliance staff, serving as extra eyes for safety on the water. If you’d like to volunteer for this event, email volunteer@harborlab.org!

Earth Day New York! Attend! Volunteer! Donate!

Please show great gratitude to our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, Earth Day New York, the conduit through which HarborLAB can receive tax deductible donations. Earth Day New York also does great work to promote sustainable design that protects estuary ecology.

Grand Central
(Vanderbilt Hall)
April 20 – 22, 2013
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
We have three days of Earth Day activities inside Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall.  Come out for live performances, kids’ activities, sustainability talks, and interactive displays by some of our partner organizations. All of the events are free and open to the public.  Join the Facebook event for updates!
Union Square
April 21, 2013
11:00 am – 6:00 pm

We’re taking our annual outdoor Earth Day events to Union Square this year! Union Square has a long history with the Earth Day movement so we’re happy to be returning. The events will include live performances, our green-vehicle runway and exhibition, and exhibits and displays by local and national environmental organizations, local businesses, and corporate partners. The events are all free to attend and open to the public.  Join the Facebook event for updates!

Get in touch to find out how you can get involved as an exhibitor, sponsor, or volunteer! joppermann@earthdayny.org

 

One Month Countdown! Sponsor Our Trailer!

Trailex UT-1200-16-04

One month countdown until HarborLAB’s fleet hits the water! May the 4th be with us!

Many thanks to Queens Community Board 2 Environmental Chair (and board member of a local waterfront organization with which we soon expect to share a welcoming and “launch warming” party) Dorothy Morehead for offering to receive our 15-boat core fleet shipment!

Our next urgent fundraising need is about $5,000 for our boat trailer, associated auto insurance, and fuel to get us through our first few youth events. Help HarborLAB serve the whole city! Email support@harborlab.org if you can help.

Ask The Next Mayor About Our Harbor!

HarborLAB will of course be attending the 2013 Waterfront Conference organized by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, of which we’re a proud member. We can budget for one more ticket if a volunteer or student would like to represent us — it’s fun, informative, and an important working day. We also encourage people to attend representing other groups who follow us here and on Facebook.

Those of us unable to attend can still participate by sending questions to the Mayoral Candidate Forum!  As New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, NYC Comptroller John C. Liu, former NYC Comptroller William C. Thompson, business tycoon John Catsimatidis, and Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr about their working harbor  and living estuary visions!

Email Becky Schneider at bschneider@waterfrontalliance.org with your questions before 8PM on Sunday, April 7!

HarborLAB Congratulates New ACA President Anne Maleady!

New ACA President Anne Maleady.

HarborLAB congratulates Ann Maleady in her new role as President of the American Canoe Association, our nation’s oldest paddling organization. Earlier this year, HarborLAB proudly registered as a Paddle America Club with the American Canoe Association, to further safety training, estuary stewardship, and youth programming. As the summer progresses, we’ll be sponsoring dedicated volunteers’ memberships with the ACA.

To learn more about this great organization, visit the ACA website by clicking here. Or if you share HarborLAB’s environmental mission focus, read ACA stewardship newsletters here.