Press Release : 04/27/2012: EPA Honors New York State Environmental Leaders EPA Honors New York State Environmen tal Leaders Release Date: 04/27/2012 Contact Information: Contact: Elizabeth Myer, (212) 637-3860, myer.elizabeth@epa.go v (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has honored 26 individuals, organiza tions and businesses from across New York State with Environmental Quality Awards for their achievements in protecting p ublic health and the environment. EPA also recognized a student from Jericho, N.Y. who is one of ten students selected f rom across the country to receive the President’s Environmental Youth Award. EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck was joined by Mayor Dana Redd of Camden, New Jersey to present the awards to this year’s recipients at a ceremony at EPA’s offices in Manhattan. “Change that will create a healthier and more sustainable future begins with people like those the EPA is honoring today,” said

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Press Release : 04/27/2012: EPA Honors New York State Environmental Leaders

EPA Honors New York State Environmental Leaders

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

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has honored 26 individuals, organizations and businesses from across New York State with Environmental Quality Awards for their achievements in protecting public health and the environment. EPA also recognized a student from Jericho, N.Y. who is one of ten students selected from across the country to receive the President’s Environmental Youth Award. EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck was joined by Mayor Dana Redd of Camden, New Jersey to present the awards to this year’s recipients at a ceremony at EPA’s offices in Manhattan.

“Change that will create a healthier and more sustainable future begins with people like those the EPA is honoring today,” said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “They give of themselves and set a high bar in their actions to protect public health and the environment.”

EPA presents Environmental Quality Awards annually during Earth Week to individuals, businesses, government agencies, environmental and community-based organizations and members of the media in EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally-recognized Indian Nations. 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/.

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 James.Cataldi@gmail.com info@NYCWetLands.org http://NYCWetlands.org/ A Modern Day “LORAX” It seems to me that we live in a world of “more is better”; more development, more cars, more home products, more electronics, more, more, more. The question that begs to be asked is, what happens to all of the “more”? Most of us at EPA understand that some of it ends up disposed of properly in the landfills, (aka, the dump) but much “more” ends up disposed of illegally at local dump sites such as what happened in the North Cove located in Inwood, NY. This was until one man decided to do something about it. If you have ever read the environmental story of the LORAX, by Dr. Seuss, one will remember that the LORAX, while seemingly deflated, defeated and extreme

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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
James.Cataldi
info@NYCWetLands.org
http://NYCWetlands.org/
A Modern Day "LORAX"
It seems to me that we live in a world of "more is better"; more development, more cars, more home products, more electronics, more, more, more. The question that begs to be asked is, what happens to all of the "more"? Most of us at EPA understand that some of it ends up disposed of properly in the landfills, (aka, the dump) but much "more" ends up disposed of illegally at local dump sites such as what happened in the North Cove located in Inwood, NY.

This was until one man decided to do something about it. If you have ever read the environmental story of the LORAX, by Dr. Seuss, one will remember that the LORAX, while seemingly deflated, defeated and extremely disappointed, leaves a sign with one word on top a pile of rocks. The word is "UNLESS". The story defines this word profoundly. "UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not." the message driven straight to the heart of the reader is that one person can make a difference. I introduce to you, James "The Birdman" Cataldi. Mr. Cataldi is that "one person" who is making a difference and who cares a whole awful lot, as evidenced by his undertaking of the local environmental concern at the North Cove.

The North Cove located off the Harlem River was once a thriving ‘tidal wetland that included waterfowl, kestrels, hawks, muskrats and various other wildlife. That was until the early 1900’s when the "more" began to arrive and the natural ;environrnent began to change. Over the years, North Cove began to see the deposition of tens of thousands of pounds of garbage,— including car and truck parts, plastics, glass, syringes and much, much "more". Some of this debris washed up into the cove as what we know as marine debris, while much of it was deposited illegally as the North Cove became the dumping ground for the community and local businesses. What is worse is that much of this garbage and debris sits below the sediment – making the clean up more difficult. Much of the wildlife disappeared from the area leaving the North Cove a decimated dumping ground. About three years ago Mr. Cataldi began removing the debris and garbage from the North Cove, totaling to date 700 cubic yards.

In the story of the LORAX, the area surrounding the Thneeds factory was also decimated, leaving the reader to only hope for the restoration of the land and the return of the "Swornee Swans, the Humming Fish and the Brown Barbaloots". Hope arrived for the North Cove and it is on its way to being restored. Mr. Cataldi has seen the return of the mallard ducks, geese, hawks, kestrels (including the peregrine falcon), shell fish, muskrats, and other wildlife. Although the area has been significantly improved, he expects that it will take years of continuous work to clean up the area and restore to it to a viable tidal wetland. His vision, to see the acres of the North Cove restored to a natural state and preserved as a wildlife sanctuary.

Mr. Cataldi has conducted 99% of this clean up on his own without any funding, and few resources. He was able to negotiate proper disposal of the debris, most of which is recycled with the nearby MTA and a recycling company. He has had a handful of volunteers, a few students from a local college and one high school. He continues to reach out to the local community educating them about the importance of this area and environmental stewardship. Mr. Cataldi is that one person, a modern day "LORAX" if you will, trying to improve one small piece of a global environmental issue.

To view Mr. Cataldi’s work on the North Cove please go to
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/bird-week-birdman-of-inwood/ for the video – footage.

Background: The North Cove is located in Inwood, NY off Ninth Avenue near 207th Street behind a small parking lot, adjacent to the MTA subway yards. The North Cove is slated as one of the areas included in the Sherman Creek Restoration and Esplanade Site. As stated in the Master Plan, Sherman Creek and the North Cove are proposed to be restored to function as wetlands once again bringing back the natural habitat. The unfortunate part of this plan is that it is to be completed in phases and is dependent upon funding.

–The master plan for the Sherman Creek Esplanade was unveiled by the City’s Economic. Development Council (NYCEDC) this past week to local residents. The plan calls for an ambitious renovation of the Harlem River waterfront from Sherman Creek inlet to West 208th Street. and is projected to cost $83 million to execute."

The master plan unveiled at Wednesday’s meeting, which NYCEDC expects to officially release in the next month, is projected to cost $83 million to execute. "Unfortunately, as beautiful as these plans are, this project still needs funding to see completion," explained Council Member Rodriguez explained. "Since the Mayor spent so much energy promoting his Vision 2020 plan for the city’s waterfront, I hope he will spend an equal amount of money putting this plan into action." (Manhattan Times July 19, 2011)

Mr. Cataldi felt that waiting 15 or more years for the cleanup and restoration of the North Cove was just too long and so he began his own cleanup and restoration effort. After approximately three years of work, the North Cove is slowly returning to its natural state. Some support is provided by the local businesses in the area. Mr. Cataldi was able to negotiate with local businesses to provide dumpsters for proper sorting, recycling and disposal of the debris as well as monitoring for illegal dumping. Mr. Cataldi is in communication with the local government agencies and other community organizations sharing his progress with the technical team leader. This is truly a grass roots effort. His passion is evidenced by the hours he spends cleaning up the cove and his love of wildlife.

Once a Wall Street computer programmer, that was until the attacks of 9/11/2001, Mr. Cataldi desired to something more meaningful. This is his calling. Mr. "Cataldi is a practicing New York State Wildlife licensed rehabilitator, and works under Wild Bird Fund with the Federal Wildlife Rehabilitation Authority, and under the Federal Medical Usage Authority of Animal General, and Center for Avian and Exotic Medication of NYC. He is also a New York State Rehabilitation Counsel Member, member of National Wildlife Federation, River Keepers, and National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association. Cataldi is the founder of Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife Association." (http://NYCWetLands.org)

Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife Association (MWAWAI
Recently founded, the MWAWA is currently being incorporated as a nonprofit 501 (c) (3). Mr. Cataldi’s vision and mission for the organization is the restoration, enhancement and protection of the North Cove as well as other waterfronts, wetlands, and city habitats of Northern Manhattan. As part of this mission he plans to offer environmental and wildlife stewardship education to local schools and colleges.

He is known in the community as the Birdman. Testimonials to his efforts can be found at http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/bird-week-birdman-of-inwood/ and a few are provided below.

Freedom to Create Positive Historical Change Now James ‘Birdman’ Cataldi gives commencement speech at (E.L.L.I.S.) Preparatory Academy graduation 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 Award presented to James Cataldi, (highest honor given to the public), two months back.

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Freedom to Create Positive Historical Change Now

James ‘Birdman’ Cataldi gives commencement speech at (E.L.L.I.S.) Preparatory Academy graduation 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 Award presented to James Cataldi, (highest honor given to the public), two months back.

As he rounds the corner of West 208th Street and Ninth Avenue with two green fishing nets over his shoulder, Jam es Cataldi says: “You go first. They’ll flock toward me if they see me.” Inwood’s North Cove, tucked behind subw ay yards near Manhattan’s northeastern tip, is a place of refuge for hundreds of birds. It is also where Mr. Cataldi, 53, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and former computer programmer, spends most of his time. Mr. Cataldi says that bef ore he stumbled upon it, this wedge of waterfront was a dumping ground and a “heroin shantytown.” In a year and a ha lf, he has single-handedly removed hundreds of pounds of garbage, including car windshields and syringes. But “it will take years of continuous work,” he says, to remove completely the garbage still festering under the topsoil. Now that the weather is warming, many of the cove’s feathered residents, including ducks, kestrels and Canada geese, have head ed north. So Mr. Cataldi is focusing on sta

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As he rounds the corner of West 208th Street and Ninth Avenue with two green fishing nets over his shoulder, James Cataldi says: “You go first. They’ll flock toward me if they see me.”

Inwood’s North Cove, tucked behind subway yards near Manhattan’s northeastern tip, is a place of refuge for hundreds of birds. It is also where Mr. Cataldi, 53, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and former computer programmer, spends most of his time.

Mr. Cataldi says that before he stumbled upon it, this wedge of waterfront was a dumping ground and a “heroin shantytown.” In a year and a half, he has single-handedly removed hundreds of pounds of garbage, including car windshields and syringes. But “it will take years of continuous work,” he says, to remove completely the garbage still festering under the topsoil.

Now that the weather is warming, many of the cove’s feathered residents, including ducks, kestrels and Canada geese, have headed north. So Mr. Cataldi is focusing on starting his own organization, the Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife Association, to recruit volunteers and donations to the North Cove cleanup cause.

A rehabilitator’s charge is to aid injured or displaced wild animals, and Mr. Cataldi now makes it his daily mission. “TheBirdman of Inwood,” as many in the neighborhood call him, learned his skills by saving — and losing — lives at the North Cove and by volunteering with the Wild Bird Fund, a nonprofit group that treats wounded birds in New York City.

The fund is currently negotiating a lease on a building they hope will become the city’s only rehabilitation and education center, complete with a treatment area for waterfowl. In all of New York City, there are only about 30 active wildlife rehabilitators for millions of birds and more than 300 species.

The city currently lacks a wildlife rehabilitation center, said Rita McMahon, a rehabilitator who helps run the fund, “and the Wild Bird Fund is changing that.”

To obtain a wildlife rehabilitation license one must file an application with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and two letters of recommendation, be interviewed and post a passing score on the 100 multiple choice questions of the wildlife rehabilitator exam.

It also takes a special kind of person. “I was a Wall Street guy. I was heavily into math,” Mr. Cataldi said. “But this is my calling.”

MIGRATION LANDING POINTS AND PLACES AT END OF MIGRATION PATHS NEED AMPLE FOOD, AND PROTECTION FROM PREDATORS Significant climate change requires the migrating wildlife to have bountiful landing areas or places to provide for them. A place to stop rest, eat, recover from long migrations and prepare for the next, build strong social bonds so the flocks are large enough to travel together to reduce the amount of energy to move through the air for many hours, which new proof has proven flying in v formations does just was scientifically confirmed.

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The waterfowl (geese and ducks) are hearty species, however many have traveled long distances and are stressed, hungry and weakened from the long flight some thousands of miles. They are programmed to migrate south just below the ice line in the winter months, for thousands of years. Maybe tens of thousands. In recent years, the winters are getting more intense over the past years. Even record breaking, despite the general belief of climate warming. Looks more like significant climate change.

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WINTER HOME NEEDS TO HAVE ENOUGH FOOD TO KEEP IMMUNE SYSTEMS HEALTH / AND READY FOR SPRING MIGRATION NORTH.. ONL Y 60 more days to get ready for trip north as of January 20th 2014. While most of the waterfowl will start to migrate no rth in 60 or so days, we are working hard to keep the flocks immune systems healthy with oils, vitamins, minerals and ju st enough fuel to keep them warm and strong for the migration north in the spring. WE DON’T WANT SICK OR WEAKENED BIRD S MIGRATING TO OTHER PLACES ONLY HEALTHY STRONG ONES. In the spring the birds to the south like heron and egret will tak e the place of the large flocks of water fowl if past years are any indication of the future.

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MORE FOOD ON THE GROUND IS NEEDED This year North Cove needs more food on the ground to keep the immune systems healthy for all the wildlife using the North Cove for their winter home. THE BIRDS MOVE BETWEEN NORTH COVE AND THE AREA PARKS SO WE ARE SERVING THE ENTIRE AREA NOT JUST NORTH COVE. UNUSUALLY COLD AMD SNOWY WINTER START As the unexpectedly cold winter start and several early snow falls followed by freezing spells killed almost all of the grazing area, at north cove, which was expected to continue to feed the flocks into February, as we planted winter rye in late October. We hoped for at least 45 to 60 days of grazing area this year. So we had to start our supplemental food program earlier than we planned. And working on new methods to keep more grazing pastures starting next year. However we need more funds critically today and next month and are reaching out yo the public to support our mission.

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At the core of our behind the scenes work we have been developing, measuring and refining techniques which look to be becoming increasingly more effective in promoting spring migration north. This work and scientific research directly aids in reducing the numbers of geese year round in a sustainable manor. And not using critical city tax dollars as do the non sustainable killing programs carried out in the area parks in the summer by gassing them to death, including babies. Better to give the geese healthy winter homes, and build the birds up strong to make the migrations north then to kill them, and having year round residents of our parks and ball fields. And all the other benefits of places like the North Cove Wildlife Refuge/ sanctuary.

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30 May, 2020 17:17

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It is our vision that the Inwood North Cove Wetlands will be a lush self sustainable natural habitat eco system with the capacity to support multiple species through out the year. And monitoring / medical catch point. As well providing a scientific and enjoyment opportunities for all New Yorkers and tourists from around the world. And providing naturally diverse nourishment in the winter months, in the water and on land. Until then we ask for your support, especially now. North Cove offers great access to the Harlem River and an ideal setting for community out reach programs; and environmental justice internship as well as community service programs. An ideal location to teach people about natural habitat conservation, community service, and how modern plant growing techniques can create small business drivers and career opportunities here in Inwood, and help save and return natural habitats, like Inwood North Cove.

30 May, 2020 17:15

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MWAWA is now responsible for protecting, and providing stewardship for the North Cove Wetlands migration point, under the leadership of James Cataldi, licensed wildlife Rehabilator and 2012 US EPA Environmental Quality Award Winner; highest honor for enhancing and protecting public health and the environment.

North cove serves this critical function as a “health hub” Not only as a restored wetland estuary cove, into it’s fifth year but also where migratory and native wildlife / feral are captured and released for medical purposes, cared for and protected. The medical component of MWAWA stewardship is central to our value proposition; and provides health benefits far beyond the area…up and down the east coast. We as well have plans and a expert partner to help us to re introduce marsh vegetation into the mud flat making it a five zone or level salt water marsh.

In a decade or so when a five zone marsh will be fully established by our current estimates, all at no tax payer expense, North Cove Stewardship will be fully beneficial to the entire region. We ask you to join us in our mission, starting today with a donation or paid membership or volunteering at any level you wish and can afford. We can also receive items we can sell to purchase critical wildlife conservancy items gladly.

30 May, 2020 17:12

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. INCOVE NEWS 2014
NORTH COVE WETLANDS WINTER SPRING FUNDRAISING DRIVE

STEWARDSHIP GOAL: KEEP FLOCKS, HUMANS & MIGRATION PATHS HEALTHY(We are all part of web of life, not separate from it, what we to web we do to ourselves)

MANHATTAN IS A MIGRATION WINTER HOME FOR MANY BIRDS INC. WATER FOWL

Manhattan is a wintering home for many birds on the east cost migration path and has been for thousands of years, perhaps 100s of thousands or more. The trend is that we are destroying so many places like North Cove along this east coast migration path, that birds (and multigenerational insects like the monarch) can’t get from one place (to rest and heal and eat) to the next. Especially final locations for the season, like summer or winter, for species like the waterfowl who rely on the Manhattan area in the winter and has from what we can tell since before recorded history. With out healthy migration landing points like north cove dedicated to migratory wildlife especially in dense urban environments the east coast migration is under a realistic non recoverable threat of complete collapse.