We summarize our mission as “LAB: Learning Adventure Boating. We provide canoeing and kayaking programs for ecological and social good.” We are affiliated with the Open Space Institute for 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsorship. Below is the full educational, ecological, and social mission as stated in our New York State nonprofit incorporation:

  1. To foster estuary and NYC watershed-themed ecological and natural science education, especially for underprivileged NYC youth and underrepresented community members.
  2. To foster estuary ecological restoration and NYC watershed conservation as a justly shared legacy.
  3. To document, especially through photographs and videos, the state of New York Harbor and the Hudson-Raritan estuary and the NYC watershed.
  4. To promote safe, inclusive, and sustainable estuary and NYC watershed access by maintaining public boat fleets and access sites, and transporting boats to sites for special events;
  5. To foster partnerships that extend the missions of other social service groups onto the water;
  6. To procure and maintain scientific equipment for the above purposes;
  7. To disseminate information and conduct informational efforts; act as a catalyst and facilitator regarding the above purposes.


Board of Directors

Scott Sternbach
HarborLAB Chair.
NSF-funded climate documentarian,
Director of Photography at CUNY LaGuardia Community College.


Erik Baard
HarborLAB Founder. Pulitzer-nominee.
Winner of state’s “Greenest New Yorker” award.


15382 (1)

Lisa Belfast
Youth program manager with decades of experience.



Joel Kupferman, Esq.
Founder and Executive Director,
NY Environmental Law and Justice Project 




Jamie Ong
Environmental Protection Project Manager,
NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.



Ingrid Veras, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology,

CUNY LaGauardia Community College.

download (4)

Ebony Young
Nonprofit leader, CSR executive.


Our Volunteer Crew (growing list



HarborLAB_logoD03A_sq (2)

We’re nerds and we’re proud! In keeping with our environmental science emphasis, our logo background is a stylized depiction of saltwater at the molecular level. It was inspired by Caroline Walker, conceived and directed by Erik Baard, and refined and executed by Tracy Coon, a volunteer with Qajak USA. Caroline Walker and Steve Sanford provided final feedback. Here’s a brief and excellent explanation by the US Geological Survey that includes an image reminiscent of our logo.

The partial positive and negative charges on a water molecule produce attractions with ions and other polar molecules. The attraction between water molecules and ions may be strong enough to separate the ions, causing the ions to become suspended (dissolved) in the water.

The ability of water to flow freely while hydrogen-bonded to other molecules and ions makes it an excellent transport medium.

In the example above, the salt (NaCl) becomes dissolved in the water, forming a solution. A solution is composed of a substance dissolved in another substance. The substance dissolved is thesolute and the substance that dissolves the solute is a solvent. In this example, the solvent is water and the solute is salt. A solution in which water is the solvent is called an aqueous solution.