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THE COUNCIL OF
COUNCIL MEMBER, 10TH DISTRICT, MANHATTAN
FIRE & CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES
July 31st, 2013
To whom it may concern,
There is currently a great public service project in the Inwood community in Northern Manhattan that is both educational and environmentally progressive. We cannot overstate the incredible value this project has brought to our community, and we hope to see it continue growing.
This project is run by a local resident, James Cataldi, who selflessly worked on his own time to clean up the North Cove, a Harlem River Inlet. He also performs science based Environmental Restoration, monitors and medically treats the wildlife, runs youth internship, and community outreach programs at no cost to tax payers, and no carbon foot print.
The North Cove is located on 9 th avenue, adjacent to the MTA Subway yards, just north of 207 street in Inwood. Mr. Cataldi is a professionally licensed wildlife rehabilitator and a 2012 US EPA Environmental Quality Award winner; the highest award one can receive. Before his work in Inwood, he worked as a computer programmer and metadata analyst on Wall Street, where his work earned him an opportunity to speak at the White House.
Until recently, he has worked mostly on his own to remove approximately 1200 cubic yards of non toxic waste and garbage from the North Cove, all properly sorted and recycled. As well he has cleaned up or prevented 12 illegal toxic heavy oil liquid spills into the Harlem River, and works closely daily with area stakeholders to ensure new debris is not being dumped at the cove any more. It is clear that Mr. Cataldi is wholly committed to improving and sustaining the health of our natural environment in New York City and surrounding waterways.
This past year, he has included a number of young volunteers in his Environmental Justice Internship Programs from the Dyckman Houses, a NYCHA complex several blocks away, to help him with the cleanup effort. Mr. Cataldi has been both a mentor, and teacher to these young people, sharing his knowledge of environmental restoration, rehabilitation, mathematics, science and more.
His mentorship provides an incredibly unique experience for these youths. He offers valuable experience and knowledge that the children would not be able to find most anywhere else in the area and his efforts to engage members of the Inwood community have been successful. He has experienced nothing but exemplary participation from these youth, and we expect the results to pay major dividends down the line.Mr. Cataldi is a professional and he has our full support. Through our conversations with him, and through the self-evident value of his work, we find him to be trustworthy and qualified. He has expressed a desire to keep the project free of any criminal involvement, especially with his goal to expand the program to include more youth from the area.