HarborLAB in the “Heroes of the Harbor” Boat Parade!


HarborLAB volunteers Dee Dee Maucher, Sanjay Shirke, and Scott Wolpow represented our organization in the Boat Parade, a highlight of Waterfront Alliance’s annual “Heroes of the Harbor” gala at Chelsea Piers.

We were represented at the dinner itself by Carolin Zayas, who took these marvelous photos, and Dorothy Morehead.

Below is our description for the Speaker’s Notes:

The “LAB” in HarborLAB stands for “Learning – Adventure – Boating” and this group of volunteers and students fulfills that calling by canoeing and kayaking our watershed and estuary, sharing meaningful fun. HarborLAB’s special focus is communities who are underrepresented in New York City’s maritime life and in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) studies and careers. All educational and stewardship programs are free.

HarborLAB’s tours include informative talks about alternative energy, vital species, and indigenous history. Tours also incorporate activities including seeding native plants, weeding invasives, cleaning up plastic pollution, documenting wildlife, and sampling water and soil for testing. HarborLAB also provides classroom activities and lectures, and works with students to build bat and bee houses and unique boats made from upcycled waste materials and invasive plants like bamboo and phragmites reeds.

HarborLAB is based on the Newtown Creek and actively educates about that Superfund waterway’s cleanup needs. HarborLAB volunteers and students have planted a 140’-long habitat restoration at their launch and will in 2018 install a learning laboratory. HarborLAB provides children’s programs at nearby Gantry Plaza State Park and in suitable waters throughout the city. HarborLAB’s second boat fleet is on the Neversink Reservoir in the Catskill Mountains, so that NYC public school classes and youth groups can experientially learn about – and care about — their drinking water sources.