September 5-6: Staten Island Eco-Edu Circ!


On Labor Day weekend HarborLAB will circumnavigate Staten Island by kayak, camping over on Saturday night. We have a public fleet and even tents for those without their own equipment. We postponed this trip from August 22-23 because we wanted to bring in more students and educators, as opposed to just ourselves and hobbyists. We have 20 seats in 10 tandem kayaks available, and welcome educators, environmental professionals, students, and community group representatives to fill at least half of those seats each day. The balance will be filled by committed volunteers. We also welcome paddlers with their own boats!

What’s the big deal about circumnavigating Staten Island? Well, there’s no greater diversity to be enjoyed in a single outing in NYC. Let’s start with the sheer fun of it. You’ll see the skyline and great ocean-going ships, ruins and wrecks, marshes and open sea. You’ll camp on the grounds of an 1818 mansion and wake to peacocks and horses, and a sweet Doberman Pinscher. You might even hang out at a biker bar! The waters you’ll paddle will vary from glassy to following seas and small breaking waves.

As a student or educator, you’ll learn lots and discover places the promise rewarding returns for research or class outings. Several city, state, and national preserves ring the island. There are resources unique to NYC for all subjects, but let’s focus on ecology. Lemon Creek is the Bayou of NYC, winding from salt to fresh water with countless crabs and water foul to be seen in a setting of lush spartina. The Graveyard of Ships is a fascinating and photogenic study in nature reclaiming industrial relics, with ducks and osprey nesting in the wrecks. Turkey vultures perch on long-dead cobra street lights. Conference House has a history stretching long before its familiar role in the War of Independence, with fossils in churt rock dating back 300 million years. Ancient clay pit ponds a short stroll inland support amphibians, while just up shore a new habitat is being grown atop capped mounds of refuse. Sea mammals swim its eastern waters and highlands remain where glaciers ground to a halt.

Along the way we’ll have pit stops. In some cases, quite literally: We’ll plant native beach plum pits with compost to help stabilize and enrich habitat! We’ll also plant other indigenous plants, like pokeweed, seaside goldenrod, and little blue stem.

Interested? Please read the details below and email us at with your interest.

More details (including a timeline) here:

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