Delta Variant Safety Notification.

Dear HarborLAB Youth Programming Partners,

Due to uncertainties introduced by the Delta variant of COVID-19, HarborLAB will steer a narrower safety course for the balance of 2021 while still remaining active. As before our programs will be staffed by volunteers who are fully vaccinated, but we will now require the same of those we serve. In practical terms, that means youth ages 12 (the current youngest age for vaccination) and up affiliated with trusted nonprofit and school partners. We’ll work in groups of up to 10 participants on the water at any given time, composed of 2-4 HarborLAB volunteers and up to 8 guests (youth and partnering organization chaperones).

HarborLAB can offer youth groups:

  • Introductions to paddling and the estuary throughout NYC, and in particular at Gantry Plaza State Park — 12 and up.
  • Stewardship paddles, to weed and seed and remove plastics on remote shores and islands within NYC — 16 and up.
  • Educational paddle tours (natural history, energy systems, climate chaos and resilience) — 16 and up. 
  • Remote lectures and presentations — all ages. 

We will not be offering “open paddles” to the general public because we can’t guarantee masking and/or distancing as recommended by the CDC for even outdoor events where people might not all be vaccinated.

In September we will not produce the Peace Lanterns Festival as usually conceived, but will strive to safely adapt our commemoration of NYC’s 9/11 losses and celebration of World Peace Day (9/21/21) to these new circumstances. .

This is disappointing but domestic cultural resistance to vaccination efforts and inadequate vaccination assistance globally have allowed the pandemic to persist through mutation. HarborLAB is a very small organization and must follow the data and be realistic about our ability to provide safeguards to unvaccinated youth and other vulnerable people, both potentially in our programs and in contact with people who could experience breakthrough infections.

Thank you for understanding and please let us know if your organizations or schools might benefit from small, targeted environmental STEM programs for vaccinated youth and their vaccinated chaperones.

Erik Baard
Executive Director