Little Trip to the Big Moon

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The Super Blood Moon Crew.

HarborLAB hosted a mini-tour to see the “Super Blood Moon,” a rare concurrence of two phenomena: a full moon that’s that’s both closest to Earth and eclipsed by it. Our atmosphere refracts the loner red wavelengths of sunlight passing through it, aiming them directly ahead at the moon.

More about the science of eclipses here:

http://earthsky.org/space/why-does-the-moon-look-red-during-a-total-lunar-eclipse

http://www.space.com/25427-blood-moons-lunar-eclipse-tetrad-infographic.html

Most folks who signed up to paddle out to see the red, full moon dispaired that clouds would add another unwanted kind of eclipse.That made a late Sunday night seem less appealing. But Facilities Manager Patricia Erickson kindly prepped the trip and two guests (who learned about us through her work at Hour Children) were well rewarded! The magnificent moon slipped the clouds several times while they canoed the Newtown Creek, between the Manhattan skyline and the Pulaski Bridge! We hope our new friends return. We can’t promise celestial wonders every time, but we can promise learning and adventure aboard our boats!

September 20: City Harvest Paddle!

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Fight hunger while enjoying a beautiful Manhattan skyline paddle to a premier art space!

The September 20 City Harvest Paddle is a super mellow tour from Hunters Point South to Socrates Sculpture Park. Visit the now-famous and soon to be gone “Living Pyramid!”

TICKETS:

Email tours@harborlab.org with the subject line “City Harvest Paddle.” After we confirm your participation, make your donation of $20 or more to City Harvest and send us your receipt.

Your minimum $20 donation receipt from City Harvest is your ticket.

Donate here:

http://cityharvest.kintera.org/virtualfooddrives/harborlab

Or:

Donate $20 or more here:
http://www.cityharvest.org/donate-funds/individual-giving

Float Plan:

12PM: Gather at HarborLAB’s GreenLaunch at 53-21 Vernon Blvd.

12:45PM: Launch. Paddle by City Harvest’s headquarters in Hunters Point South. Then pass the growing Hunters Point South Park and Gantry Plaza State Park, while taking in magnificent Manhattan skyline views.

1:30PM: Riding the flood current, we’ll cruise into Hallets Cove to land at the Socrates Sculpture Park Beach. Some of us will plant native seeds at the beach in an effort coordinated with the Natural Resources Group of NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

Enjoy wonderful contemporary art.

3PM: Launch for home.

330PM: Return to HarborLAB. Everyone helps return boats and gear to its proper place.

4PM: Done!

Hallets Cove Waterfront Festival

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HarborLAB volunteers Gil Lopez and Diana Chang make seed balls. Gil removed purple Milkweed seeds from pods will Diana made the “cookie dough” mix of cocoa shells, red clay, seeds, and a pinch of sand. Kids joined us in rolling out the gumball-sized seed starters.

HarborLAB was delighted to participate in the Hallets Cove Waterfront Festival produced by City Council Member Costa Constantinides (now Environmental Chair) and the Waterfront Alliance. HarborLAB had intended to provide free kayaking at the cove, but heavy rains on Thursday overwhelmed the sewer system, which overflowed into our waterways. Fecal bacteria counts measured by the NYC Water Trail Association spiked Thursday morning, even before the heaviest downpours, so HarborLAB felt it would be profoundly unwise to put children into the water for at least several days.

Instead HarborLAB volunteers undertook three primary activities:

  1. Made native seed balls with the public to educate about the importance of coastal vegetation for habitat and to stabilize dunes and shorelines. On Saturday we focused on milkweed, which is vital to Monarch butterflies. We will distribute and plant these seeds as we paddle, and in the off-season we gather the seeds as shore walkers.
  2. Gathered 100 signatures for a petition to retire the combined sewer overflow pipes at Hallets Cove by absorbing rain with green roofs and increased ground-level plantings, as well as cisterns and containment tanks. This is just the beginning of HarborLAB’s push for Hallets Cove to be safe for kids even after rainy days, and petitioning was a great tool for engaging the public in environmental education.
  3. Documented the cordgrass (or spartina) growing in the cove as a habitat restoration. It was planted by the NYCDEP many years ago and is thriving in the northeast corner of the cove. We should expand upon this.
A neighborhood mom signs HarborLAB's CSO petition.

A neighborhood mom signs HarborLAB’s CSO petition.

Waterfront Alliance coordinated a beach cleanup that hauled over 20 pounds of plastic trash from Hallets Cove, and some HarborLAB volunteers were happy to participate in that too. Other activities included a touch tank that encourages hands-on interaction with marine life, sand art and other crafts, a bouncy castle, games, and more! Speakers and educators also enriched the day.

A huge thanks to volunteers Gil Lopez, Diana Chang, Scott Wolpow, Erik Baard, Anatoliy Zaslavskiy, Grace Magee, Phillip Borbon, and Patricia Erickson. Great thanks to Waterfront Alliance and Council Member Constantinides for their invitation and hard work to make the day a success!