Hope in a Time of COVID-19.

Dear Friends, When the first humans arrived in what is today New York City, there was no East River and mastodons still squelched about in the swamps of Hunters Point. We’ve prospered through change, challenge, and yes, a bit of … Continue reading

January 10: Seedball Making!

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Hi!

We’ll have two events for local youth in LIC on Friday, Jan 10. One is at a school at 10am and the next at a youth service organization at 230pm. If you’d like to assist, please register via the form linked and you’ll receive details.

We’ll have a family event, open to the public, later this season. Please stay tuned.

Register here (a Facebook click isn’t registration):

https://forms.gle/GY9h5RQCkwLVP9Ph6

Shareable link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1082345605285046/

Our fun work will help green and strengthen NYC shorelines in 2020 with Little Bluestem, Joe Pye, Goldenrod, and Milkweed seeds gathered by HarborLAB volunteers and local students.

Seedballs are simple to make and contribute to STEM education through service. We just mix natural clay powder, compost or potting soil, seeds, and water into a cookie dough-like consistency. Then we roll the “dough” into penny-wide balls and place them in a single layer in a pizza box or other similarly wide and shallow box.

PLEASE help clean up.

9/29: Voyage to South Brother Island!

 

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Photo by NYC Audubon.

Paddle through Hell Gate, clean and seed a normally forbidden island, and visit a gorgeous park in the South Bronx for lunch! By special permission by the Natural Resources Group of NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, HarborLAB tends to this precious Harbor Heron Refuge each year. We gather plastics, seed native plants (our earlier years’ seaside goldenrod is thriving!) and document life on the island.

To join, please complete this form by September 26 at 11PM:

https://forms.gle/aBANu7XZ27XfkoE57

 

Please understand that public seats are limited (8) and the trip requires strict adherence to instructions from HarborLAB for safety and NYC Parks’ for wildlife conservation.

This event is free. Age minimum is 14, with significant paddling experience and an accompanying parent or guardian.

The shareable promotional page for our crew is:

https://www.facebook.com/events/397480847835149/

This trip is FREE. Tax deductible donations to HarborLAB are gratefully received here:

https://harborlab.org/donateorsponsor/

Waivers should be printed and completed before arrival. Waivers are here:

https://harborlab.org/waivers/

Please understand that seats are limited (8 in public fleet seats) and the trip is challenging in terms of duration and varying conditions. Participation must be approved by HarborLAB.

Because we can’t safely access the water at Vernon Blvd due to sail squatters damaging and stealing infrastructure like our dock and ladder, we’ll tow boats to and from the 2nd Street public launch.

Schedule and Float Plan

8am; Gather at HarborLAB (53-21 Vernon Blvd)
Safety talk, waivers, ready and lower boats.
830am; All boats in the water. Tow some boats to 2nd Street.
845am: Launch some paddlers from 2nd Street.
Hug Queens coast. Alert for ferries. Stay about 30′ from shore through Hell Gate, single file. Regather after Astoria power plant point.
945am: Land at South Brother Island, SE beach.
Clean beach and load boats. Seedball.
1045am: Launch for Barretto Point Park. Stay close together and beware of higher wind profile from garbage bags.
1115am: Land at Barretto Point Park. Tabulate and carry to curb.
1pm: Launch from Barretto Point Park.
3pm: Land at 2nd Street and HarborLAB. Pack away.
4pm: Done!

Please note that if we run later than 4pm our Jewish friends might have to leave in order to observe Rosh Hashanah at sunset. Let’s extend this courtesy cheerfully.

Su 29 Low 3:15 AM -0.8 6:51 AM Rise 7:38 AM 0
29 High 9:13 AM 6.1 6:42 PM Set 7:41 PM
29 Low 3:39 PM -0.7
29 High 9:31 PM 5.9

What to bring and wear:

Common sense sun protection for (hat, UV broadband sunglasses, eco-friendly sunblock), sturdy footwear you don’t mind getting wet (not flip flops), dry change of clothing, quick drying paddling clothing, full reusable water bottle (you can refill in Brooklyn, but there’s no water at HarborLAB), snacks with no plastic packaging if possible (oranges are great, or nuts in a reusable bag).

Safety:
Don’t do what you feel unsafe doing. For example, our shoreline is very rough but entering and exiting the boats at 2nd Street is safer and easier.
Stay close together. Do not stray.
Listen to instructions and directions immediately and precisely. There might be safety concerns about which you’re unaware.
If you don’t feel well, are in pain, or have a condition that could affect you or the group, please inform the trip leader or a volunteer escort immediately.
Stay hydrated. Drink before you feel thirsty.

Sunday Pride Paddle for Brunch!

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Photo by Erik Baard

Partner Paddle tour with Queer Scouts NYC (https://www.facebook.com/groups/283924708806941/about/) to enjoy brunch in Dumbo. Pride Paddles for the LGBTQ+ community are part of HarborLAB’s mission of diversity and inclusion in STEM and enjoyment of our public waterways.

HarborLAB and Queer Scouts NYC are family-friendly groups but this open water tour of a busy waterway is for adults. All ages can join the brunch in Brooklyn! Location to be determined.

To join, please apply here:

https://forms.gle/YV3pcY2hc4K9Z7x38

Clicking “going” on Facebook or emailing organizers does not register you for this tour. You must apply through the above link. 

Float Plan:

930AM: Gather at HarborLAB
Safety talk and orientation, prep boats.
1030AM: All boats in the water.
11AM: Paddlers who chose to board at 2nd Street are in boats.
LAUNCH!
1230PM: Land at Pier 4 Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
BRUNCH
2PM: Launch for the return.
330PM: Return (some dropped off at 2nd Street)
4PM: Done!

Su 8 High 4:39 AM 4.2 6:30 AM Set 1:05 AM 66
8 Low 10:55 AM 0.9 7:17 PM Rise 4:25 PM
8 High 5:05 PM 4.9
8 Low 11:38 PM 0.6

Neversink Reservoir Dates!

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ReservoirLAB at Neversink. Photo by Erik Baard

Welcome to the new school year!

To help students learn about their drinking water, HarborLAB maintains a second boat fleet on the Neversink Reservoir in the Catskill Mountains. This FREE program of educational paddling tours on pristine mountain water, called ReservoirLAB, is the result of a unique partnership between HarborLAB, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and is supported by Catskill Watershed Corporation.

The dates we can offer in 2019 are:

Sept 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30

Oct 5, 6, 7, 12, 13

Our educational programs are free but we can’t provide transportation or meals.

If you’d like to visit with your school class, youth group, or community center, please email us at edu@harborlab.org.

 

 

Lap the World’s Most Exciting Island!

Up for adventure?

2019 HarborLAB

Manhattan Circumnavigation!

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East River paddling. Photo by Laura Picallo.

Set a course for adventure on Saturday, August 31! It’s time for HarborLAB’s annual Manhattan Circumnavigation! This is our biggest chance to thank volunteers for their hard work (especially given the difficult conditions caused by sailboat squatters at Vernon Blvd and your patience as we work toward relocation of our boats to 2nd Street) and to strengthen relationships with fellow environmental groups and supporters. 

Newer volunteers will be considered. The form linked below gives you the chance to let us know how you’ll be contributing to HarborLAB’s success going forward. 

Apply to join with this form:

https://forms.gle/SEuFdLwJZ8xvwM9z6

Also included in the form are:

  • Scheduling and float plan details.
  • Safety notes and what to wear and bring.
  • .Ways to join without paddling the full length.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FORM BY THURSDAY, 8/29 AT 3PM.

Aug 24: Vegan Dim Sum Run!

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Come kayak the East River from LIC to the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy a round table discussion about how to prevent some of the damages of climate change by making better food choices. For example, delicious vegan dim sum!

Application to join this trip must be made here:

https://forms.gle/v7G7k7ohcGHfVA6z8

Seating is limited. Joining us will be a representative from the United Nations Environment Programme’s office in New York. Other special guests will be announced as they are confirmed. All are welcome to join us at the restaurant, even if they don’t paddle. Please make your own arrangements, however, as our reservation is for a dozen.

This event is free. Food and ferry are at one’s own expense, but students and volunteers with a financial hardship will be covered by HarborLAB. Donations are gratefully accepted at:

https://harborlab.org/donateorsponsor/

This brunch voyage is inspired by public information like the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (https://www.ediblemanhattan.com/eat/plant-based-foods-key-to-fighting-climate-change-according-to-u-n-report/) that advocate for a plant-based diet.

Direct links to IPCC reports:

ipcc-report

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/srccl/

Details:

(Please note that we’ve amended our Float Plan to accommodate some bureaucratic issues surrounding the beach on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Instead we’ll land at the Pier 4 beach at Brooklyn Bridge Park and ride to Manhattan with our sponsor, NYC Ferry/Hornblower Cruises. As a result we will launch earlier in the morning and land later in the afternoon.)

7AM: Gather at HarborLAB
8AM: Launch!
9AM: Land at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 4 Beach. One person will babysit the boats.Group walks walks to River Cafe restaurant (Dumbo) ferry dock. 12 minute walk.
10:05am: Ferry to Pier 11, Wall Street. 3 minute ride.
10:08am: Arrive at Pier 11, Wall Street. 21 minute walk to Vegetarian Dim Sum House: 24 Pell St #1, New York, NY 10013
11am: Brunch!
12:30pm: Brunch concludes.
108pm: NYC Ferry to Dumbo.
2PM: Launch for the return.
3:30PM: Land at HarborLAB and pack up.
4:30PM: Done!

What to bring and wear:

Common sense sun protection for (hat, UV broadband sunglasses, eco-friendly sunblock), sturdy footwear you don’t mind getting wet (not flip flops), dry change of clothing, quick drying paddling clothing, full reusable water bottle (you can refill in Brooklyn, but there’s no water at HarborLAB), snacks with no plastic packaging if possible (oranges are great, or nuts in a reusable bag).

Safety:
Don’t do what you feel unsafe doing. For example, our shoreline is very rough but entering and exiting the boats at 2nd Street is safer and easier.
Stay close together. Do not stray.
Listen to instructions and directions immediately and precisely. There might be safety concerns about which you’re unaware.
If you don’t feel well, are in pain, or have a condition that could affect you or the group, please inform the trip leader or a volunteer escort immediately.
Stay hydrated. Drink before you feel thirsty.

Tides

Sa 24 High 2:43 AM 4.0 6:15 AM Rise 12:06 AM 48
24 Low 9:00 AM 1.1 7:41 PM Set 2:55 PM
24 High 3:00 PM 4.8
24 Low 10:30 PM 1.1

Huge Thanks to Today’s Gardeners!

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Left to right, Ira, Mary, Kieren, Zamira. Photo by Luke.

Many thanks to Ira Gershenhorn, Carolin Zayas, Meherunnisa “Mary” Jobaida, Zamira Kamal Khodjaeva, Kieren Rudge, and Luke O’Brien (not pictured in this series because he was the photographer) for coming down to organize our site, weed invasives, tend to our milkweed and other native species, monitor our oyster research station, and other important but often unsung environmental work.

HarborLAB operates from a small strip of waterfront on Newtown Creek, a US EPA Superfund site that needs all the love it can get, but which never be written off for dead. Waterfowl, aquatic mammals, migratory passerines, monarch butterflies, many species of fish, invertebrates, flowers and grasses, and more make their homes here.

Ira, Garden and Habitat Restoration Manager, and Carolin, Administration Manager, work many hours outside the public eye, so it can be difficult to attract volunteers to their projects. When folks do chip in, we are especially grateful. Today’s crew also had the opportunity to paddle and chat over snacks and drinks.

Again, THANKS!

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Ira and oysters (and other sea life along for the ride). Photo by Luke.

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Flowers and pokeberry. Photo by Luke.

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Milkweed seed pods. Photo by Luke.

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Zamira and Carolin. Photo by Luke.

Aug 18: Gardening and Paddling!

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Come garden and paddle the mouth of the Newtown Creek!

Location: 53-21 Vernon Blvd, LIC, NY 11101
Time: 8/18, 8-11am.

To participate, please email volunteer@harborlab.org.

Shareable event: https://www.facebook.com/events/365560090791300/

HarborLAB Gardening and Habitat Restoration Manager Ira Gershenhorn will teach you about our oyster monitoring station, lush stand of milkweed for monarch butterflies, fruit trees and bushes, sunflowers, seed balls and reef balls, and his vision for the future!

Participants can also paddle the creek from the East River to Pulaski Bridge with Carolin Zayas.

Drop by between 8am and 9am. Snacks and drinks provided. Please bring a reusable bottle. We’ll wrap up before the highest heat of the day.

Activities:

Milkweed seed harvest.
Weeding.
Biota surveying/photography.
Cleanup.
Organization.
Paddling.