Two years ago, WaterWire published a story about James “Birdman” Cataldi, who singlehandedly transformed a polluted cove on the Harlem River, where he had discovered a few sick geese picking their way through shards of broken glass, into a thriving natural spot to which birds — and the community — were returning. Mr. Cataldi was honored in 2012 by the Environmental Protection Agency for this work. Read the story here and check out a wonderful video about Mr. Cataldi here.
What was once an illegal dumping ground is now a wildlife sanctuary and community gathering place. Mr. Cataldi continues to work hard at the restoration and community outreach. On Saturday, September 27, his organization, the Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife Association (which is affiliated with Conservancy North), is sponsoring a two-part event — a shoreline cleanup from 10am to 3pm, and a music festival from 3pm to 9:30pm. There will be food and crafts, talks on biodiversity and educational activities for children. To get to North Cove, walk through the parking lot off 9th Avenue just north of 207th Street in Manhattan.
Mr. Cataldi calls this work a multi-generational responsibility. He hopes for a big turnout on September 27. “As we continue our tradition to service our community, people from all walks of life are coming together and celebrating our great natural resources, learning more, and helping out,” he wrote. “It is important our community sees how much progress has been made, that people stopped dumping garbage because people started to care.”