Many thanks to Citizens Committee for NYC for a $3000 grant to help HarborLAB and community partners start to transform a 125′ stretch of Newtown Creek waterfront into a kayak and canoe launch set within green and thriving habitat! We call it the “GreenLaunch” project. We also give deep thanks to Schuman Properties, which permits HarborLAB to use its land. HarborLAB Facilities Manager Patricia Erickson will oversee much of the work, in coordination with Schuman Properties, scientific directors, and gardeners.
We continue to seek additional funds for this work.
HarborLAB seeks to renew a compacted dirt 125′ x 21′ lot alongside the Newtown Creek, an EPA-designated Superfund Site with wetlands species (especially spartina) in the intertidal zone, salt-tolerant uplands species to stabilize land, and raised bed edible vines and trees for shading. Annual crops will be grown in straw bales, which can also serve as safety perimeters, as recommended and supplied by Dorothy Morehead, Community Board 2 Environmental Chair. We’ll preserve and expand areas where monarch butterfly supporting milkweed and goldenrod is growing. About 50′ of upland space will be for active use while the rest is phased in as habitat restoration. All 125′ of shoreline will be devoted to habitat, apart from narrow strips for stairs and a boat slide.
We will also install a small field station (a simple overhanging small deck of plastic timber made from recycled plastic bags) from which we can have younger students safely do water sampling and make observations.
This Field Station platform will eventually also be home base for a “biocrete” oyster habitat (solar-
powered system to accrete minerals from seawater, pioneered locally by Coastal Preservation Network), floating photobioreactor, Newtown Creek livecam, and other innovative projects.