10 February, 2016 22:42


Wisdom for guidance from our Elders

Manhattan Wetlands & Wildlife

Birdman II Trailer

Birdman II Movie

New York Times 2011

Freedom to Create Positive Historical Change Now

James ‘Birdman’ Cataldi gives commencement speech at (E.L.L.I.S.) Preparatory Academygraduation event held at Ellis Island last Tuesday (June 26, 2012), awarding intern students who worked at Inwood’s North Cove honorary Jr. Environmental Leaders Awards, to formally recognize their contribution which helped James earn the EPA Award, thus sharing the US EPA Awardpresented to James Cataldi, (highest honor given to the public), two months back.




Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife association, (MWAWA) is a community grass roots organization serving Northern Manhattan, with plans to expand it’s coverage area over time. MWAWA is a community partner with New York Restoration Project (NYRP), and works cooperatively with Metro Transit Authority, (MTA), the Wild Bird Fund, Yonker Science Barge, and others.

Cataldi, as founder and executive director of MWAWA, seek guidance from many agencies and organizations on the city, state and federal level. Cataldi or MWAWA are members of Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Harbor Coalition, and the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Hudson Estuary Program, and a member of National Rehabilator Association, and a New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Counsel Member. (MWAWA to date is not part the NYC Parks structure.)

In April of 2012, Mr. James Cataldi prior to founding and becoming the executive director of MWAWA, was given the highest honor given to an individual by US EPA for his environmental work including the work at North Cove in 2012 (see EPA Award tab). Cataldi earned the full support of public elected officials, (see below) area stake holders and the public.

MWAWA, also doing business as Inwood Hill and Sherman Creek Wildlife Trust is the official authorized Wetland Restoration Community Based Organization in New York City for the northern Sherman Creek Area, north of the 207th street bridge interconnecting Manhattan and the Bronx. (Block 2189, lot 50) (see google earth)

MWAWA, doing business as Inwood Hill Sherman Creek Wildlife Trust, is listed on the NYS Parks website as working along side the New York Restoration Project (NYRP), in the Sherman Creek area in the 20 year master plan workshop. (MWAWA receives no funding, oversight, nor guidance from, nor reports Into NYC Parks). MWAWA, doing business as Manhattan Urban Wildlife Trust, is recognized as the sole community based organization working at North Cove in the Sherman Creek Water Front Esplanade Master-Plan. (official wetlands restoration entity at Inwood North Cove) This plan was developed by New York City’s Economic Redevelopment Corporation’s (NYCEDC) named Sherman Creek Water Front Esplanade Master-Plan, and approved by Community Board 12 in February of 2010.

In February 2010, New York City’s Community Board 12, approved 87 million plus dollar NYCEDC Master Plan for the water-front between 208th street and 190th along the west side of the Harlem River. However this plan was never funded, and the actual cost we except would be substantially higher if ever approved. Despite no funding for the plan, MWAWA is fully operational making significant progress ongoing, and just self funded the next 10 months of the wildlife conservancy program at North Cove. Through our partnerships the restoration and enhancement expenses of the North Cove Project are covered ongoing for the foreseeable future. (Including the salt marsh initiative and others indicated herein)

****MWAWA seeks a a modification to the plan, and not develop the North Cove, and have MWAWA continue stewardship as a international migratory wildlife sanctuary, and develop a five zone salt water marsh, at no cost to the tax payer. (To date all funding over fours years of conservancy and restoration has been paid for)******

Under Cataldi’ s leadership over 1280 cubic yards of non toxic trash, and debris has been removed, all properly recycled, and 12 illegal toxic spills, (and years of illegal contamination dumping by local food vendors), have been stopped or cleanup. (Oct 2013) All part of ongoing extensive restoration of the rare fragile natural environment of the North Cove estuary. (Along with some environmental enhancement.). Wildlife, including migratory, protected and endangered, displaced by tradition urbanization typically employed throughout the NYC metro-area rely increasingly on Inwood North Cove. Growing evidence that international migratory wildlife are increasingly finding the North Cove Sanctuary’s natural habitat in their annual seasonal Migration Path, returning each year.

North Cove serves as a safe/healthy landing-pad for migrating water species, birds and multi-generational insects to stop, rest, heal, breed, and eat along North Americas’ primary north/south migration path . (In the cloistered Inlet) Each year more species rely on the cloistered sanctuary of this estuary inlet at Inwood’s North Cove. (only remaining partially-submerged tidal-estuary in the five borrows of NYC outside of the park system urbanization plan).

As Steward of this environmentally rare international coastal migratory fly-way migration landing-point, MWAWA watches over, enhances, protects and preserves the health of the estuary so it can offer healthy food and shelter to migrating species, (water and air born).

MWAWA also runs year round public events programming, annual celebrations and youth internship programs, in addition to conduction experiments and proof of concept projects in healthy food production! marsh plant generation! and free non carbon foot print energy production on a limited test pilot basis with to vision of future economic development of the area and creating high paying careers for Inwood.

Cataldi also is a practicing professional licensed wildlife rehabilitator, and an advocate on a range of environmental and public health issues, including Indian Point and fracking.

North Cove (NYC, Inwood’s North Cove) is easily found on Google Earth and Google Map as a Wildlife Sanctuary – and applying as an official National Federation Wildlife Site, making it accessible and visible to the world.

NEW YORK, NY 10033
(917) 521-2616
FAX: (917) 521-1293
250 BROADWAY, ROOM 11763
(212) 788-7053
FAX: (212) 227-1215



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.


Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member
District 10
Adriano Espaillat
State Senator
District 31
Gabriela Rosa
Assembly Member
District 72

Protection, Preservation and Enhancement
of Public Health and the Environment.
(EPA 2012 environmental quality award)

EPA Honors New York State Environmental Leaders

Release Date: 04/27/2012
Contact Information: Contact: Elizabeth Myer, (212) 637-3860,myer.elizabeth

The awards recognize significant contributions to improving the environment and public health in the previous calendar year.

For information about the Environmental Quality Awards in EPA Region 2,
visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/eqa/.

James Cataldi left his job as a Wall Street computer programmer to realize a more meaningful calling: the cleanup and restoration of the North Cove of the Harlem River.Instead of waiting for the city and other organizations to do it, he began his own cleanup and restoration effort. After approximately three years of work, the North Cove is returning to its natural state. Mr. Cataldi conducted 99% of this cleanup on his own without any funding and few resources. He continues to reach out to the local community to educate people about the importance of environmental stewardship of the North Cove.


2012 EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Awards/Nomination

Accomplishments of James Cataldi, resident of Inwood, New York
Submitted by U.S. EPA : Carol Lynes, DESA-MAB-AWQAT

James A. Cataldi
C: 917-515-8373
H: 212-569-1723
A Modern Day

On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 11:16 AM, James Cataldi <james.cataldi> wrote:

C u then. James

On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, Noemie Lafaurie-Debany <nlafaurie-debany> wrote:

Great. Diana Balmori (cell: 646-270-2553) and Mikaela Kvan will be there. I will try my best to join you all as well (and just in case, my cell is 646-428-5050.)

noémie lafaurie-debany / principal / balmori associates
t 212.431.9191 / f 212.431.8616 / 584 broadway, suite 1201, new york, ny 10012

nlafaurie-debany@balmori.com /www.balmori.com

On Feb 10, 2016, at 10:53, James Cataldi <james.cataldi@gmail.com> wrote:

2:30pm would be better. The North Cove is just north of 207th street off of 9th Avenue so perhaps we meet at 207th and 9th Avenue in front of the Safeway Gas Station. And we could figure out where to go that’s warm after that at the time.

My cell phone numbers 347-360-1227


On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, Noemie Lafaurie-Debany <nlafaurie-debany@balmori.com> wrote:

Great. How about 2pm this afternoon? Where do you suggest we meet? And after seeing the site could we go somewhere warm to discuss for a little bit?

Many thanks,


noémie lafaurie-debany / principal / balmori associates
t 212.431.9191 / f 212.431.8616 / 584 broadway, suite 1201, new york, ny 10012

nlafaurie-debany@balmori.com /www.balmori.com

From: James Cataldi [mailto:james.cataldi@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2016 8:32 PM
To: Noemie Lafaurie-Debany
Cc: Jessica Roberts; Mikaela Kvan; Diana Balmori
Subject: Re: Sherman Creek documents

Tomorrow early afternoon.

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Noemie Lafaurie-Debany <nlafaurie-debany@balmori.com> wrote:

Many thanks, James. We’d love to come and see the site and meet with you to brainstorm floating marsh ideas. Would you be available tomorrow afternoon, Thursday midday or on Monday next week?



noémie lafaurie-debany / principal / balmori associates
t 212.431.9191 / f 212.431.8616 / 584 broadway, suite 1201, new york, ny 10012

nlafaurie-debany@balmori.com /www.balmori.com

From: James Cataldi [mailto:james.cataldi@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2016 5:07 PM
To: Noemie Lafaurie-Debany
Cc: Jessica Roberts; Mikaela Kvan; Diana Balmori
Subject: Re: Sherman Creek documents

In the loop …

quick turn around….


James Cataldi

to Jason

0 minutes ago


They can go for it w out coming to cove.

Best if it is for wildlife. Not people.

Maybe like a floating salt water marsh theme.

But i am open…

I very much would like this.

Can you reach out to them w this info.

And encourage them to go for it.



On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Jason Smith <jsmith@nyrp.org> wrote:

They had wanted to meet with you at the beginning of this week- i imagine they need to find a new time to try to visit the site- they were looking to submit a grant on a very short turn around so they may have realized they didnt have the time- i will check and get back to you.

I do think it would be a good fit for the cove.