News and stories about the waterways of 
New York and New Jersey, from the 
Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

SEPTEMBER 20, 2014


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.”

INCove News. state’s plan to wipe out entire population of mute swans by 2025


The state’s plan to wipe out the entire population of mute swans by 2025 has bird advocates worried about graceful fowls that flock to Prospect Park.


The state’s plan to wipe out the entire population of mute swans by 2025 has bird advocates worried about graceful fowls that flock to Prospect Park.

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Jeffrey Kramer

Jeffrey Kramer

Next time you go to your favorite park to see those large, white birds of regal repose, better bring a camera. You may never see them again. New York State’s mute swan may become the first animal to be managed into extinction by 2025. This proposed, premeditated extirpation is the endgame of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) newly released draft “Management Plan for Mute Swans in New York State,” calling for the elimination of all free-ranging mute swans. The plan is fallacious and insidious, another misuse of taxpayer monies to promote killing and molestation as a wildlife management science. The DEC states that their population of 2,200 has actually stabilized.

Seized from its native lands, the mute swan has become our neighbor for the past 130 years since being shanghaied to this country because of its timeless beauty. It has been a fixture in the imagination of man since early civilization, but also has been persecuted for almost as long.

The DEC’s justification for its scheduled disappearance — using deceptive language and misconceptions — is almost identical to the reasons given for the slaughter of over 5,000 resident Canada geese (a native, North American bird) in New York City: a potential aviation hazard (birdstrikes); aggression while nesting (ironically, the mute swan’s main target is Canada geese); and loss of water quality from coliform bacteria. Here, the DEC, along with its cooperator, the USDA-Wildlife Services, is killing two birds with one stone.

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INCove News. 2014 Winter/ Spring Wildlife Conservancy Program 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 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.

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.

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.

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.


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.



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.


We believe that the unusually high number of loose dogs off leash have made the populations higher at north cove this year.


While most of the waterfowl will start to migrate north in 60 or so days, we are working hard to keep the flocks immune systems healthy with oils, vitamins, minerals and just enough fuel to keep them warm and strong for the migration north in the spring. WE DON’T WANT SICK OR WEAKENED BIRDS MIGRATING TO OTHER PLACES ONLY HEALTHY STRONG ONES. In the spring the birds to the south like heron and egret will take the place of the large flocks of water fowl if past years are any indication of the future.

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.


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.

Protected safe setting like North Cove does just that. North Cove wildlife conservancy effort include supplementing the food and providing medical treatment programs as well.

Please donate at what ever level you can afford, no donation will be too small, even $3, at the following:

1. Furry Fiends.
630 W 207Th
New York, NY 10034Map Marker
1212 942-0222

Manhattan Wetlands & Wildlife Assoc. (M W squared)
347 360-1227

Thank you Birdman of Inwood and the North Cove

INCove News, Republishing of an possible threat to our environment


Today, a bill to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was introduced in Congress. The deal, which is being negotiated with over 600 corporations behind closed doors, is a threat to clean air, clean water, safe food and our democracy.

We have to stop fast track for the TPP. Email your Congress members now.

If passed, corporations could sue the U.S. government to overturn democratically created laws and regulations if they threaten the corporation’s profits. Things like sourcing local food for schools, banning fracking in your community and labeling genetically engineered foods are at the top of the corporate hit list.

President Obama is trying to fast track this deal to give himself sole authority to negotiate it, leaving Congress and the American public with absolutely no input.

Thankfully we still have time to stop this. Fast Track votes have been defeated in Congress in the past and we can do it again. In recent weeks, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have showed opposition to Fast Track for the TPP. But corporations around the world will stop at nothing to pass this bill.Every single member of Congress needs to hear from their constituents on this.

Take action now. It’s the most important thing you can do.

Thank you,

Sarah Alexander
Deputy Organizing Director
Food & Water Watch

INCove News, Congressmen question costs, mission of Wildlife Services agency


Congressmen question costs, mission of Wildlife Services agency

LOS ANGELES (MCT) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inspector general will investigate a federal agency whose mission is to exterminate birds, coyotes, mountain lions and other animals that threaten the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers.



JAN 5, 2014

Jaime Dyer points to a photograph in 2010 of the M-56 after it was lured into a cage by a government trapper. The 20-month-old mountain lion, wearing a tracking collar affixed by University of California-Davis researchers, left his mother in the foothills of Orange County and struck out on his own and leaped into a pen of sheep on the Dyers property. (Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times/MCT)


LOS ANGELES (MCT) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inspector general will investigate a federal agency whose mission is to exterminate birds, coyotes, mountain lions and other animals that threaten the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers.

The investigation of U.S. Wildlife Services is to determine, among other things, “whether wildlife damage management activities were justified and effective.” Biologists have questioned the agency’s effectiveness, arguing that indiscriminately killing more than 3 million birds and other wild animals every year is often counterproductive.

Reps. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., and John Campbell, R-Calif., requested the review, calling for a complete audit of the culture within Wildlife Services. The agency has been accused of abuses, including animal cruelty and occasional accidental killing of endangered species, family pets and other animals that weren’t targeted.

DeFazio says the time has come to revisit the agency’s mission and determine whether it makes economic and biological sense for taxpayers to underwrite a service, however necessary, that he argues should be paid for by private businesses.

“Why should taxpayers, particularly in tough times, pay to subsidize private interests?” said DeFazio, ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources. “I have come to the conclusion that this is an agency whose time has passed.”

Wildlife Services was created in 1931 as part of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. It has wide-ranging responsibilities, including rabies testing and bird control at airport runways. But the bulk of its work is exterminating nuisance wildlife by methods that include poisoning, gassing, trapping and aerial gunning.

The agency acts as a pest management service not only for agribusiness and ranches, but also for other federal agencies, counties and homeowners who might have such problems as raccoons in an attic. Other services include protecting endangered species and maintaining game herds for hunters.

The services are free or substantially subsidized, which many private predator and pest control companies say unfairly undercuts their business. States and counties complain that they are responsible for an increasing share of the costs.

DeFazio and Campbell are also calling for congressional oversight hearings. Defazio said he has spent years asking for but not receiving information from Wildlife Services, which he calls “the least accountable federal agency I’ve ever seen.”

He said he had to learn from the Los Angeles Times about an internal audit the agency conducted last year. The audit found the agency’s accounting practices were “unreconcilable,” lacked transparency and violated state and federal laws. Further, the audit revealed that $12 million in a special account could not be found.

“The last time I tried to get more specific financial information, they just blew me off and said they couldn’t provide that,” DeFazio said in an interview. “Yet, at the same time, they were undertaking this audit. So, the managers were, at best, disingenuous, and at worst, undertaking a cover-up.”

A Wildlife Services spokeswoman said the agency already has begun to carry out changes recommended in the audit.

In response to allegations of improper behavior by agents, the spokeswoman said the department does not condone animal cruelty and that employees are trained to strictly follow state and federal wildlife laws.

Information that DeFazio’s office says Wildlife Services has refused to disclose includes identities of its clients. DeFazio’s office has determined that the agency acts as an exterminator for golf clubs and resorts, hunting clubs, homeowners associations, paving companies and timber giants International Paper and Weyerhaeuser.

The agency’s supporters argue that the cost is appropriately borne by consumers who value local food production. In California, many ranchers and farmers would go broke if they had to pay private companies to do the work provided for free by Wildlife Service agents, said Noelle G. Cremers, a lobbyist for the California Farm Bureau.

Members of Congress have heard allegations for years about improper _ and in some cases, illegal – practices within Wildlife Services. Attempts at congressional investigations have been stalled by what DeFazio calls the agency’s “powerful friends” in agriculture and ranching lobbies.

Among the allegations legislators want to review are those by Gary Strader, a Wildlife Services hunter in Nevada until 2009. He alleges he was fired for reporting to superiors that colleagues had killed five mountain lions from airplanes, a felony. He said his supervisor told him to “mind his own business.”

Strader said the same supervisor gave similar advice when the hunter discovered that a snare he set had unintentionally killed a golden eagle. Knowing that the bird was protected under federal law, Strader called his supervisor for guidance. “He said, ‘If you think no one saw it, take a shovel and bury it,'” Strader said.

Agents are required to maintain records of their kills, but critics say those records are opaque and probably inaccurate. The official count, for instance, does not include offspring that will die after adult mountain lions or bears are killed or coyote pups inside a den that has been gassed.

“The numbers are absolutely manipulated, gravely underestimated,” said Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense, a wildlife conservation group.

Part of the difficulty of wildlife control work is making sure the lethal methods reach only intended targets. Cyanide traps set for coyotes can kill other animals. Many domestic dogs _ thousands, by the accounting of watchdog groups _ are inadvertently poisoned by capsules meant for coyotes.

Rex Shaddox, a former Wildlife Services agent in Wyoming, said agents “were told to doctor our reports _ we were not allowed to show we killed household pets.” Shaddox said he knew a rancher who kept a grisly souvenir of the agency’s collateral damage: a 10-foot chain of interconnected dog collars.

Shaddox said the agency rarely handles federally controlled poisons legally. Agents are required to post signs where pesticides and poisons are placed and maintain detailed logs. But supervisors tell them not to, Shaddox and other former agents said.

Wildlife Services agents have been accused of animal cruelty, particularly in the use of dogs to control and kill coyotes. Last year, a Wyoming-based trapper posted photographs to his Facebook page showing his dogs savaging a coyote caught in a leg-hold trap. Other pictures showed the agent’s animals mauling bobcats and raccoons.

The agency said it was investigating.

Wildlife biologists also criticize the agency’s work, which they say ignores science. Bradley J. Bergstrom, a conservation biologist at Valdosta State University in Georgia, and other biologists at the American Society of Mammalogists say they have been frustrated by the agency’s unwillingness to share scientific data tracking the effectiveness its approach.

For instance, Bergstrom said, eradicating coyotes from a landscape creates unintended consequences. He said a Texas study found that killing coyotes that preyed on cattle led to an increase in rodents, which prey on crops. The pest problem shifted from cattle raisers to farmers.

“Pre-emptive lethal control … makes no sense,” Bergstrom said. “It’s known as the ‘mowing the lawn’ model – you just have to keep mowing them down.”

INCove News. Urgent Fund Raising Drive


PLEASE HELP US RAISE MONEY, ANY AMOUNT WILL HELP NO MATTER HOW SMALL. If you can’t afford to at this time we understand maybe you can volunteer at the cove. Or just keep us In your thoughts Thank you Birdman Jim!

Dear blog viewer, thank you for visiting our blog site, now we wish to invite you to join the mission at the North Cove.

Today, We need help raising critical funds to provide wildlife care programs at North Cove.While making a paypal donation is helpful, we can’t get immediate access to the funds, so making a cash donation at any level you can afford would be even more helpful. No amount is too small to make a difference and show you care.

If you contact me at Birdman, I can make arrangements to receive funds directly.

We know you care, and any amount will help nourish one more life during these extreme wintering times. Or help fund our planting program next spring when we start to grow marsh plants and grasses for next year for the migration from the north. As each year returns the water fowl to their winter home, as you see the north cove is a gate way to sky and ocean along east coast migrations paths tens of thousands of years old. Or older. Now at risk because the wildlife is loosing critical grazing areas due to modern urban designs that don’t account for our migratory brothers and sisters.

Below are Pics of the north cove being used as a migration winter home, sheltered oasis in the middle of modern mans steel and cement. Sister birds, in the Harlem River of ice.

Today, They need your help to keep just enough healthy food to keep the immune systems strong enough that the young and weak from the long flight from the north where they spent the summer keeps them alive.

As well the presence of wintering migratory wildlife also protects the Inwood Harlem River North Cove Wetlands from being developed as they are federally and internationally protected.

And if you squint your eyes you might just for a moment get a sense of what the ancestors might have seen at the North Cove native village in the years before Europeans destroyed their way of life, the old ways and relations w Mother Earth, father sky, brother animals and sister birds.

As well, there are shell fish, crab, oysters, opossums, muskrats, raccoon, and feral cats as well.

Pics from the fist cold spell about one week back first week of January 2014.

James Cataldi, a.k.a. Birdman of Inwood North Cove

A ‘Broken Windows’ Theory for Environmentalism


A ‘Broken Windows’ Theory for Environmentalism

By Paul Gallay on December 23, 2013

Call it the broken windows theory applied to environmentalism.

This Spring, Riverkeeper helped mobilize a crew of 80 to clean up trash at Inwood’s North Cove, a reclaimed wetlands area on the Harlem River where wildlife now flourishes amid steel and cement.


The biggest cleanup of 72 on our 2nd annual day of service for the estuary, theRiverkeeper Sweep, we removed about 6 tons of tires, twisted metal, polystyrene coffee cups and rotten fruit. The trash was so deep it had to be dug out with shovels in some places, and we had a lingering concern that the work of our volunteers—including dozens of kids from the nearby KIPP School—would be undone if the same people who had trashed the cove initially started dumping again.


Photo by James D’Addio

So we happily greeted news this week from the cove’s fierce local advocate James Cataldi, executive director of the Manhattan Wetlands & Wildlife Association, that the cove has not suffered from new dumping. And the political ties forged through work on the Sweep even helped Jim stop the dumping of snow and the pollution scraped off roads along with it.


Fix the broken window, and people take more pride in their neighborhood, forcing the nefarious elements out. That’s the idea. Polluters tend to pollute where there’s already pollution. The formula for stopping pollution is to clean up the mess—and then keep close watch. Jim’s doing just that at Inwood’s North Cove just as Riverkeeper does with our boat patrols throughout the estuary.


When Riverkeeper started almost 50 years ago, the Hudson River was full of broken windows. The General Motors plant in Sleepy Hollow turned the river a different color as each line of cars that came off the factory floor were painted. PCBs leaked from the Anaconda Wire and Cable Co. factory in Hastings. Coal tar oozed from the manufactured gas plant at Nyack.


That kind of blight and disregard for the state of our river was what energized the founders of Riverkeeper in 1966. They dusted off unused laws that barred dumping in our waterways, and started prosecuting polluters, one by one.

At that time, pollution made it hard for many to see the river for what it is – a thing of beauty, and an ecological powerhouse, producing awe-inspiring Atlantic sturgeon, athletic striped bass and herring by the millions—more than 200 species of fish in all, as well as the birds and mammals that feed on them.


Today, the Hudson is the backbone of neighborhoods from lower Manhattan to Waterford, 150 miles upriver. The river is the driver of the region’s $4.5 billion tourism economy.


Or put another way, if you clean it, they will come.


Humans are drawn to water. It takes a powerful repellent to keep us away. Just ask the Gowanus Dredgers, whose love of Brooklyn’s blighted canal isn’t undone by stinking, green-gray stagnant water, or the rainbow blooms of coal tar that bubble up from the toxic mud below.


Capt. John Lipscomb patrols the Gowanus Canal. Photo by Leah Rae

Cleanup plans are now on the books for each of these blights, in Brooklyn, Hastings, Sleepy Hollow and Nyack—and many other like them. The work of cleaning up our waterways isn’t fast, and it isn’t done until our water is safe for swimming, and our fish safe for eating—two challenges that remain on the Hudson.


And Riverkeeper is being called on to enforce our environmental laws as never before. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has lost 30% of its staff since 1990.


Take cops off the beat, and you’ll get more broken windows, which is why we have to fight to restore essential staff to our environmental agencies, and support those stalwarts who are working hard to enforce the laws that protect our environment.

In the meantime, Riverkeeper remains your cop on this most important beat. We’re fixing the broken windows. The neighborhood is rallying. We have a lot to look forward to in 2014 and beyond.


Kingston Kayak Festival 2013. Photo:Dan Shapley

– See more at:

INCove News


While this is not a MWAWA petition, James ‘Birdman’ Cataldi supports this petition,
I encourage you to sign it!
New York City is on the verge of banning horse-drawn carriages – but instead of saving the abused horses, the city might send them to be slaughtered. Click here to sign the petition demanding that the city protect the lives of these abused horses.

For years, people have been pushing New York City to end horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park. Carriage horses are forced to work for hours on end in extreme weather, until their dying day. Dozens suffer from respiratory ailments after breathing exhaust fumes, and every year several animals and people are hit by cars.

Now there’s a bill going to City Council that would end this cruel and antiquated practice — but the law doesn’t provide protection for the animals, which means the horses could be sent to the slaughterhouse. The current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has already claimed that the animals will be slaughtered if the bill passes. These abused horses don’t deserve to be killed � and there’s still time to save them.

New York City’s newly elected mayor is supporting the ban on horse-drawn carriages, but so far he hasn’t promised to protect the carriage horses from slaughter. Sign the petition now to join the call demanding that the city prevent the murder of these horses before it’s too late!

rain horse

INCove News


Today’s New York Times Story

Harlem River, Cut Off From Public, Is Getting a Push Out of Isolation

One by one, the rivers around Manhattan have emerged from decades of industrial abuse. The Hudson River has its five-mile ribbon of parkland and active kayaking community; the Bronx River, the occasional beaver sighting; and the East River, a popular ferry service — all contributing to the sense that New York is, in fact, a river city.

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Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Swindler Cove is on the river in Sherman Creek Park, once an illegal dumping ground.

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Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Mill Pond Park, a 10-acre oasis with tennis courts in the Bronx.

One waterway has lagged, however. The Harlem River, a 9.3-mile channel that flows from the Hudson River to the East River, remains gritty and industrial. Major highways and train tracks cut the public off from the water on the Bronx side, and pipes that discharge raw sewage during heavy rains dot both shores.

But there are signs of progress, with public and private investment pouring into new and existing parks. And there is now a robust circle of advocates pressing the river’s case.

“It’s one of the most alluring, but unmet water frontiers in New York,” said Roland Lewis, president of theMetropolitan Waterfront Alliance, an umbrella organization of nonprofit boating groups and maritime businesses. “When you’re on the Circle Line, you’re amazed at the beauty. But there is virtually no access on either side.”

Perhaps the clearest indication that the city is committed to the Harlem River is the $62 million reconstruction of the High Bridge, whose lofty Roman-style arches span the river and connect Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. The pedestrian bridge, opened in 1848, was a popular gathering spot in the early 1900s, a place where people took in the scenery in the latest fashions.

The bridge fell into disrepair and closed for good in the early 1970s. Reviving the bridge, which extends from Highbridge Park on the Manhattan bank, was one of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s most ambitious park initiatives. When it opens next year, the bridge — still off limits to cars — will give the park-deprived residents of the South Bronx access to the greener landscape across the river, in particular the 130-acre Highbridge Park, with its enormous outdoor pool.

“It’s really the centerpiece of the Harlem River corridor,” said Jennifer M. Hoppa, the parks department’s administrator of parks in northern Manhattan, referring to the High Bridge project. “It’s the midpoint.”

Highbridge Park, which is separated from the river by the Harlem River Drive, overlooks an important link in the Bloomberg administration’s plan to create an uninterrupted greenway around Manhattan, with bicycle and walking paths. The city has invested $1 million into upgrades for an esplanade that runs from 162nd to 200th Street.

But to the south, from 162nd Street to 120th, gaps remain.

One can see and feel the river more easily in Manhattan than in the Bronx, where train tracks hug the eastern shore. In 2007, parks officials created five street-end parks in the Inwood section of Manhattan: miniplazas with benches overlooking the river. One park, at 202nd Street, has steps descending to the water for kayaks and other light craft. “It’s something we could do quickly, since the city had control of the street ends,” Ms. Hoppa said.

Perhaps the most dramatic addition of parkland on the Harlem River has come from a nonprofit group, the New York Restoration Project, founded by Bette Midler. After cleaning up Fort Tryon and Fort Washington Parks on the Hudson, the group turned its focus to the Harlem River. Working with the parks department, it reclaimed a forlorn piece of garbage-strewed wetland on the river just south of Dyckman Street, and invested $17 million in what is now Sherman Creek Park: a 15-acre oasis with walking paths, wildflowers and a boathouse.

Designed by the architect Robert A. M. Stern, the boathouse, opened in 2004, is the headquarters of Row New York, a nonprofit group that has introduced low-income children to rowing, in sleek racing shells more often associated with Ivy League crew. “It was a brownfield site filled with old cars,” said Deborah Marton, senior vice president for programs at the New York Restoration Project.

The group is now holding a design competition for a new education center to be built in Sherman Creek Park. The building will serve as an example of storm-resilient architecture, while allowing the group to hold education programs in urban ecology no matter the weather. “We’re in a flood zone so this building will flood and it will be fine,” Ms. Marton said.

On the other side of the river, a coalition of 50 community groups and government agencies, called the Harlem River Working Group, is determined to return the waterfront to the Bronx. With the nonprofit organization Trust for Public Land, the group last year issued a report, the Harlem River Greenway Vision, with ideas for better access and potential locations for new parkland. “The Bronx side has been left behind,” said Marc A. Matsil, the trust’s New York State director.

There are bright spots, however. In 2009, the parks department built Mill Pond Park, 10 acres on the river with 16 tennis courts, picnic areas and a jogging path. The $64 million project was one of several parks the city created to replace parkland lost in building the new Yankee Stadium.

Farther north, near the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, is Bridge Park, a new half-mile finger of parkland that extends to Roberto Clemente State Park. Construction on the $4.1 million park is finished, but the city, citing safety concerns, is waiting for the New York State Transportation Department to finish renovation work on the Hamilton Bridge before opening it.

In the meantime, the Trust for Public Land has seized on every chance to expand the parks. Last year, together with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a foundation, it bought an 0.58-acre parcel near the High Bridge. The land had belonged to a local church, which had leased it to a dog pound. “There were dozens of dogs in chains on the site,” Mr. Matsil said. “They were not doing well.”

His vision for the future park includes a green lawn and kayak launch, although the city will ask the community for its opinions.

“Despite all the challenges,” Mr. Matsil said, “the river still provides fish habitat for red hake, winter flounder, Atlantic sea herring and blue fish. It also connects to multiple watersheds, and there aren’t many water bodies that do that in the city.”

INCove News


Fracking for oil and gas threatens our drinking water, our health, our neighborhoods, and our climate. That’s why, for the second year in a row, thousands of grassroots activists are rising up in more than 20 countries, on 6 continents, at more than 200 events—on a single day, this coming Saturday, October 19—to call for an end to this destructive practice and to challenge our leaders to pursue a clean-energy future.

There’s a Global Frackdown event near you in Manhattan this Saturday, October 19.

Global Frackdown in Manhattan
Host: Owen C.

Where: Park above Pier 62 on the Hudson, Manhattan, NY 10011 (in Manhattan)

When: Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11:00 AM
What: At more than 200 events in more than 20 countries on 6 continents, thousands of activists will rise up in action during the Global Frackdown—an international day of action to ban fracking and to protect our water, air, and climate from the fossil fuel industry’s assaults. It’s going to be huge!

While this is not an Manhattan Wetlands & Wildlife event, MWAWA strongly supports it. Birdman

INCove News


Fracking for oil and gas threatens our drinking water, our health, our neighborhoods, and our climate. That’s why, for the second year in a row, thousands of grassroots activists are rising up in more than 20 countries, on 6 continents, at more than 200 events—on a single day, this coming Saturday, October 19—to call for an end to this destructive practice and to challenge our leaders to pursue a clean-energy future.
There’s a Global Frackdown event near you in Manhattan this Saturday, October 19.

Can you make it?

Yes, I’ll be there!

For more details about the event, check the invitation below. Thanks for all you do.

–Victoria, Matt P., Linda, Manny, and the rest of the team

Global Frackdown in Manhattan
Host: Owen C.

Where: Park above Pier 62 on the Hudson, Manhattan, NY 10011 (in Manhattan)

When: Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11:00 AM

What: At more than 200 events in more than 20 countries on 6 continents, thousands of activists will rise up in action during the Global Frackdown—an international day of action to ban fracking and to protect our water, air, and climate from the fossil fuel industry’s assaults. It’s going to be huge! Can you join us at the Global Frackdown event in Manhattan to join the call to ban fracking? Click below to learn more about the event near you and to RSVP.


Sorry, I can’t make it, but I’m interested in getting more updates.


INCove News


Building a Resilient New York City: Riverkeeper EcoSalon Oct. 24

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Building a Resilient New York City: Riverkeeper EcoSalon Oct. 24

Join Riverkeeper on Thursday, Oct. 24 for Greening Post-Sandy New York City, a discussion of the opportunities and challenges we face in protecting New York City’s shoreline communities, infrastructure, energy supplies, economy and environment from future storms.

The evening’s discussion will be moderated by Ambassador John Negroponte and will include Steven Cohen, Executive Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University; Kim Yao, AIA, Principal, Architecture Research Office; and Paul Gallay, President and Hudson Riverkeeper. Together we will explore this critically important topic as our city approaches the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.

WHEN: October 24, 2013
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres – 6:00 p.m.
Panel discussion – 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Hearst Tower, 300 West 57th Street, 44th Floor
Entrance on 8th Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets

$250 Supporter
$500 Advocate

Purchase your tickets online or contact:

Missy Falkenberg at mfalkenberg, (914) 478-4501, ext. 229.

Kindly respond by October 17.

Ticket sales will support Riverkeeper’s work to defend the Hudson River and its tributaries, including New York City waterways, and protect the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.

Riverkeeper is grateful to the following for generous underwriting support for this event:

greenwood energy logo 150 Hearst corp logo 200 Durst Organization
Iron Shore logo 150 NYC EEC logo 200

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s
Dr. Howard Rubin
Joe Boren
Tangent Energy Solutions, Inc.
Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, Harvard University

Join NowRiverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. Contribute to this vital work, become a member today.

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INCove News


The FUKUSHIMA nuclear accident:

Ongoing Lessons for New York & bOSTON

Former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission joins panel to discuss
the risks of nuclear power at the Indian Point and Pilgrim Nuclear Power Stations

Seminar Tuesday, Oct. 8 in NYC

Seminar Wednesday, Oct. 9 in Boston

You are cordially invited to attend a panel of speakers that includes the former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Dr. Gregory Jaczko;former NRCCommissioner Peter Bradford;and nuclear engineer, Arnie Gundersen, who will share their perspectives on nuclear safety and the future of nuclear power. Naoto Kan, the former Japanese Prime Minister, will join the panel of esteemed speakers to address the future of nuclear power and the lessons to be learned from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident. The panel will specifically address concerns regarding Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant now operating with an expired license in Buchanan, New York and Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The seminars will be held in New York City at the 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10128 (Theresa L. Kaufmann Concert Hall) on Tuesday, Oct. 8 and in Boston at the Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02133 (Gardner Auditorium) on Wednesday, Oct. 9. More speakers will be announced.

Gregory Jaczko was the Chairman of the NRC during the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the catastrophe at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. He was confronted by three reactor meltdowns and a nuclear crisis that persists to this day. In 2012, Jaczko cast the lone dissenting vote on plans to build the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. in more than 30 years. Peter Bradford served as a Commissioner on the NRC during the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster.

Earlier this year on June 4, 2013, Jaczko, Bradford and Gundersen were joined by Japan’s former Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, where they spoke at the San Diego County Administrative Center about their concerns regarding the safety of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Three days after the panel, the plant was closed permanently.

U.S. citizens are now questioning the safety of the Indian Point and Pilgrim nuclear power plants. In the event of a catastrophe like Fukushima, these plants would threaten millions. A nuclear disaster at Indian Point would threaten the entire population of New York City and the outlying metropolitan area (see a graphic of the radioactive plume released in the first 24 hours of the ongoing Fukushima disaster superimposed over Indian Point and surrounding region on page 3 of this announcement.) A crisis at Pilgrim poses similar danger to millions surrounding Boston.

The panel discussion is open to the public and news media.

Registration: There is no fee for the seminar, however donations to offset speakers’ travel and other expenses are greatly appreciated, payable to the Samuel Lawrence Foundation: . In order to facilitate registration at the event, please pre-register at

For people who are unable to attend, the NY and Boston panel can be heard on a live feed at These webcasts will be archived at the link for at least 30 days.


Leah Brown / Olive PR Solutions

o: 619.955.5285 x105/ m: 858.337.2995


For further information, please contact:

Sandra Bartsch / Sandra Bartsch Productions, Inc.
Cell 310-600-8184 Fax 760-744-0503

New York Event:

What/Who: The panel, The Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Accident: Lessons for New York, will include former NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko, who led the commission during the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, along with former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford, and nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen. More speakers to be announced.
When: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Where: 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128 (Theresa L. Kaufmann Concert Hall)
Why: Indian Point is a three-unit nuclear power station located in Buchanan, New York, 25 miles outside New York City. Potential risk of a nuclear crisis at Indian Point would pose a danger to millions in the New York area. The technology at the plant is 40 years old, and the containment domes were not designed to hold 100 tons of melting uranium in event of an accident and meltdown. Both Chernobyl and Fukushima are examples of accidents in outdated nuclear reactors.

Boston Event:

What: The panel, The Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Accident: Lessons for Boston, will include former NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko, who led the commission during the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, along with former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford, and nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen. More speakers to be announced.
When: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Where: Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133 (Gardner Auditorium)
Why: The Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station is located in Plymouth, MA, 40 miles outside Boston. Last summer, Jaczko and the community presented legal appeals and environmental warnings to shut down Pilgrim, however, the NRC renewed the 40-year-old nuclear plant’s license for another 20 years despite these oppositions. A nuclear crisis at Pilgrim would pose a danger to millions of people who live within 50 miles of Pilgrim, including those in the city of Boston.

Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Director
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc.
724 Wolcott Ave., Beacon, NY 12508
845-265-8080 x 7113 Fax: 845-831-2821
845-807-1270 (cell)
845-687-9253 (home office)

><((((º> ><((((º> ><((((º> ><((((º>

Support closed-cycle cooling to help reduce impacts of power plants on Hudson River fish ….

INCove Event – 9-28-13


Inwood’s North Cove Community Gathering & Indian-Point Public Rally

Homemade authentic Italian Dinner:
fresh pasta cooked on site, salad, bread, and sides.
September 28th 2013
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

adults $10, students $8, children $6, members $0
Please RSVP by Thurs midnight.

Inwood’s North Cove is located on
9th Avenue, just north of 207th,
adjacent to MTA subway yards

INCove Gathering : “North Cove for Indian Point Public Rally/Outing” on the day one of the nuclear reactors at Indian Point looses it license, but will be allowed by the federal government to operate anyway. Please join us next Saturday, afternoon

September 28th 2013 (rain or shine) – great weather foretasted.

Participants requested to donate $5 if they can afford it, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm, petition signing, information exchange, live local music, and featured music form Internet, enjoy the Harlem River Cove. Directly support our efforts to provide the community with wildlife care, Environmental Justice, youth programs, and hand delivery of our Petition signatures to Albany and DC.



INCove News – 9-22-13


Change ‘Business as Usual’ at Indian Point Nuclear Reactor


The following were the facts and background Information which went I to the decision to sponsor the petition on If people understood them or read the sources directly on the protect page of NYCWetlands,org then I believe everybody would sign the petition. As we all need no repeat of the disaster in Japan, with no way yet known to stop it from getting worse.

Background: In it’s current operating state, Indian Point Nuclear Power Reactor on the Greater Hudson Estuary River puts New York State’s environment and New York City and it’s waterways, public safety and human health at extreme risk from operational accidents, and acts of God, including extreme solar events, earthquakes under the Atlantic Ocean or under the nuclear power plant, terrorist attacks, poor management aging plant infrastructure; and antiquated technology.

There is no taxpayers real protection for the risks posed by mismanagement, inadequate safety measures, and aged infrastructure at Indian Point.

A simple ‘Power Failure’ is causing Disaster in Japan. Fukushima in Japan ‘Failed’ when No-Power, and failed ‘Backup Plans’ prevented critical reactor-cooling and the over-heated reactors began a melt down process; this developing disaster process began two years ago, and it has gotten worse daily for more than two years – with no solution in sight.

And Fukushima did not have a disaster planning good enough to protect Environmental and Public Health from loss of electrical power

And Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant also has No-Plan adequate fail safe protection plan either..

Facts on public record:

1. criminally falsified records management relating to vital back up power systems not in compliance and lying to co-workers relating to official safety inspections, even though power is critical for the plant not to melt down like at Fukushima

2. cracks and leaks in infrastructure

3. same design as in failing in Fukushima, Japan

4. design is 40 years old …would be 60 years at end of next license period

5. no adequate housing over massive spent fuel rod storage

6. environmentally destructive and runs afoul of various coastal policies

7. devastating impacts on the aquatic biota of nearby State and Federally designated Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat in Haverstraw Bay

8. radioactive leaks into the Hudson River passing by New York City and into New York Harbor

9. storing thousands of tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste in overly crowded leaking spent fuel pools

10. temporary dry cask storage structures at Indian Point

11. estimated 1.2 billion fish are killed annually in the once through cooling intake systems

12. To be relicensed Indian Point must also be deemed consistent with 44 enforceable policies outlined in the NYC’s Coastal Management plan

13. Japan’s experience with Fukushima, which is sending windborn radioactive contamination to the United States, should be a wake up call for New York State to protect its residents, wildlife, lands and waters.

14. one of licenses for one of reactors at Indian Point, will have expired on September 28th 2013 this will be the only reactor in America that operating with the permission of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on an expired license!

Two public hearings are scheduled

Public Hearing 1:

The NY State Energy and Telecommunications Committee will hold a public hearing on Monday, September 30 from 10 am to 3 PM to examine the Indian Pt. contingency proposal for replacement energy and in light of the fact that the license for one of the reactor will have expired on September 28th. The public is welcome to attend. It will as well be broadcasted via a live feed at:

Public Hearing 2:

NYS’s Coastal Management Plan protects the health of the waterways, and Indian Point requires a state issued water permit to operate. There is no adequate plan to protect our waterways nor the millions of people in the New York City region, from small or large accidents and events.

Disaster prevention is a public health and safety issue, an environmental issue and an economic issue. The public has cr) on whether Indian Point’s license should be renewed.

Live feed for sept 30 public hearing two:

INCove News : To whom it may concern



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

Inwood’s North Cove: Where the wild things are!


Inwood’s North Cove: Where the wild things are!

Story by Adrian Cabreja





In the belief that wildlife takes little hold on an area marked by concrete, fire hydrants and parked vehicles, James Cataldi, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and founder of the Manhattan WetLands and WildLife Association has worked tirelessly to prove other wise

“The North Cove is now home to about 20 different species of animals,” says Cataldi, an Inwood resident “And it looks like more species will continue to make it their home.
The North Cove tucked near Manhattan’s north eastern tip is a partially submerged salt marsh that plays host to scores of Canada Geese, Ducks, American Kestrels, Fiddler Crabs, Blue Crabs and various small fish and mussels

“You also have 330 migrating birds fly north and south through New York City each year, along with multigenerational insects like monarch butterfly.”

The North Cove (along with other locations in Northern Manhattan) is part of an east coast migratory rout called the Atlantic flyway a route that thousands of birds use to migrate every year. The Atlantic flyway extends from the Chilean coast all the way the northern tip of Canada.

Other than its habitual importance, the North Cove is important for the reason that it is a landing spot for various birds that make this long journey.

But, although the North Cove is becoming a sanctuary for various species of animals it was not always this way. It was due to large efforts that this outback located in Northern Manhattan has recently become host to visiting and permanent life.

Upon being introduced to the North Cove, Cataldi was astonished to find what he called a “Heorin Shantytown” and a dumping ground

“I saw no life at the cove the place felt sterile,” said Cataldi

At the time the North Cove was home to two sickly geese

Cataldi, Immediately began what would virtually be a sole effort to clean and rehabilitate the North Cove. For the past four years Cataldi has dedicated almost every single day to this mission Missing only one day.

Cataldi, has removed over 1,200 cubic meters of waste from the cove. The garbage included tons of syringes, toxins and rubber tires.

Initially what would be a difficult effort was further agitated by early efforts to develop the cove a development that could have retarded Cataldi’s rehabilitating efforts. In addition to this Cataldi was accused by the MTA for trespassing


“I was kicked out of the cove almost everyday. I was stubborn however and id come back and continue cleaning,” said Cataldi.

Since then however Cataldi has sought public support and is federally protected and authorized to restore the North Cove.

“Mr. Cataldi has conducted 99% of this clean up on his own without any funding and few resources.” said Carol Lynes of the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency. “He is a modern day ‘Lorax’” she continued referring to Dr. Seus’s famed character that fought against plighting the environment


“He has a great passion for what he does”, said State Senator Adriano Espaillat.

Although Cataldi has restored some life into the North Cove his founding of the Manhattan WetLands and WildLife Association (MWWA) is warrant to a desire for further development and the realization that there is a lot of work to be done.

The MWWA has recently published what would be their 10-year plan to restore and further the work necessary at the North Cove. Some of MWWA’s focuses will be on wildlife monitoring, care and rehabilitation, testing and improving the water quality at and around North Cove, fighting soil erosion and water pollution, stopping sediment leaching and burdening into the Harlem River and providing an overall value and benefit to Inwood.

“I have done most of the cleaning. The problem now is that the soil is dead. The cove was a dumping ground for so many years that the soil itself became dead. There is no life in the soil. A healthier environment starts on the microbiological level and there is no microbiology in the soil,” said Cataldi.

“Although the area has been significantly improved, it will take years of continuous work to clean up the area and restore to it to a viable tidal wetland,” said Lynes.

For more information on the MWWA and to volunteer in MWWA’s restoration efforts please visit


IMG 1: Canada Geese ready to take flight.

IMG 2: “Although the area has been significantly improved, it will take years of continuous work to clean up the area and restore to it to a viable tidal wetland,” said Lynes. Photo by MWWAIMG 3: “I was kicked out of the cove almost everyday. I was stubborn however and id come back and continue cleaning,” said Cataldi.






Riverkeeper : Why We Swim in the Hudson River— Balancing Risks with Knowledge


water quality header
Why We Swim in the Hudson River—
Balancing Risks with Knowledge

greg O'Mullan swimming in the Hudson
Riverkeeper science partner Dr. Gregory O’Mullan takes a dip in the Hudson.

Recent news has focused attention on sewage contamination in the Hudson River, but the alarming headlines about a new study of antibiotic-resistant bacteria should not make us turn our backs on the Hudson.

The study, by CUNY Queens College and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in collaboration with Riverkeeper, only adds another reason that you should be well informed before enjoying river activities, using available resources like Riverkeeper’s water quality data to help you make choices about where and when to enter the water. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found where raw sewage is found—and Riverkeeper’s data, along with some common sense, can help you avoid contact with potentially harmful pathogens found in sewage.

“Ultimately we hope to rid the river of sewage pollution entirely, but we aren’t there yet. The cold, hard fact is the Hudson still suffers from sewage pollution, and until that changes you need to be educated before entering the water. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop recreating,” writes John Lipscomb, Riverkeeper patrol boat captain and Water Quality Program Director, in a new blog post, Swim in the Hudson River—But Swim Smart. “You wouldn’t avoid swimming on sunny days because some clouds, somewhere, produce lightning. You wouldn’t avoid swimming in a quiet sandy cove because some other water has treacherous rocks and currents. Neither should you avoid swimming where and when water tends to be free of pollution, just because pollution exists at other times or locations.”

An author of the new study, and longtime Riverkeeper science partner, Dr. Gregory O’Mullan, agreed. “Having studied the river for a number of years there are places (near CSO or wastewater treatment outfalls) and times (especially following rain) that I would avoid contact,” he said in a Q&A on the study. “But there are also lots of places where I would swim and where I have swum. Last week I swam in the river near Saugerties. It was a hot day and it felt great to get into the river.”

Riverkeeper advocates for widespread and frequent testing of the water, timely public notification of sewage discharges, forecasting to inform the public about future water conditions—and ultimately the infrastructure improvements necessary to rid our waterways of sewage altogether.

Read more on the subject:

Join NowRiverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. Contribute to this vital work, become a membertoday.

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That Must Be Rita Nursing Swan on NYC’s Upper West Side


That Must Be Rita Nursing Swan on NYC’s Upper West Side

By Mike Di Paola – Jul 7, 2013 11:01 PM CT

The swan was found in March, grounded and very ill, in a Brooklyn parking lot.

“Lead poisoning,” said Rita McMahon, the wildlife rehabilitator who opened the Wild Bird Fund Center last year on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “She was off the charts with lead poisoning and just a skeleton when she came in, about half the weight she should be.”

Wild Bird Fund Center cofounder Rita McMahon with a swan. The bird had been rescued from a Brooklyn parking lot, a victim of lead poisoning. Photographer: Mike Di Paola/Bloomberg

A yellow-bellied sapsucker recuperating at the Wild Bird Fund Center. After treatments of vitamin K, mealworms, and maple syrup, the bird was released in Central Park. Photographer: Mike Di Paola/Bloomberg

Wildlife rehabilators gavage-feeding a pigeon at the Wild Bird Center. There are usually 60 or 70 injured or sick birds and other animals at the city’s only wildlife rehab center. Photographer: Mike Di Paola/Bloomberg

Wild Bird Fund Center cofounder Rita McMahon with a squirrel house. “We get squirrels, woodchucks, opossum, and the rare chipmunk or turtle,” she says. Photographer: Mike Di Paola/Bloomberg

The swan underwent chelation for the lead, followed by antibiotics for swollen joints. If she had gotten strong enough she would have been released in the wild. Because of the lead poisoning, however, the swan couldn’t stand up.

Being grounded badly damaged the bird’s keel, the large bone on its underside. McMahon and her staff treated her for almost two months, even attempting to surgically repair the damage, but “we could not win the battle against infection,” McMahon said. She had to euthanize the regal bird in May.

The Wild Bird Fund has the only wildlife rescue center in New York City. On a recent visit, there were about 70 birds under care in the converted storefront and basement, including a Brant goose with a fractured leg, an ailing ring-billed gull, and many, many mallard ducks.

As the weather gets warmer more injured birds will be taken in, largely because more people are outdoors with more opportunity to see them.

Kate Winslet

Actress Kate Winslet brought in a pair of mourning doves that had been under hawk attack outside her penthouse. Jazz singer Nellie McKay often stops in at the center with an injured bird. “A very sweet person,” McMahon said.

Most of the animals here are sick or hurt, but occasionally healthy specimens need saving. A teenage girl who volunteers at the center rescued two birds — a muscovy duck and a chicken — from a live poultry market in Harlem. She purchased their death-row reprieves for $30 apiece. Both birds are now living happily ever after in more bucolic settings.

McMahon took me downstairs, where two rehabbers were gavage-feeding a pigeon through a plastic tube. Some of the more mobile pigeons got a workout flying about the room.

McMahon plucked a tiny yellow-bellied sapsucker from its cage. “He had a collision with a car, I believe. Blood was pouring out of its ear. A little vitamin K, mealworms and maple syrup and he was ready to go.” (The bird was released the next day in nearby Central Park.)

Although the clinic treats mostly birds, it will handle almost any type of patient. “We get squirrels, woodchucks, opossum and the rare chipmunk or turtle,” McMahon said. Not long ago someone brought in an abandoned fish — a large red pacu that had been left on a street corner in a bucket. “Lucky for him we have a waterfowl tank. He was in heaven.”

Lap Pool

The day of my visit, that tank was being used as a lap pool by the gull. The eight-by-three-foot structure has a ramp at one end used to facilitate waddling in and out.

A new bat room is almost ready to begin taking in chiropteran patients. Bats brought to the center this year may well have been climate-change victims, as unusually warm winter days wake the creatures from hibernation, then subsequent cold weather sends them into a sickly torpor and they require treatment or will die.

The new center gets substantial pro bono support in medical services from two veterinary hospitals across the street, Animal General and the Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine.

Still, it costs about $330,000 a year to run, most of which is in rent. There are a few big-money donors and occasional fundraising events, but the clinic relies on individual donations.

Old Boyfriend

“The main thing that supports us are the people who walk through that door with an injured bird,” McMahon said. Good Samaritans who care enough to tote an injured pigeon will also be the kind of people who donate. “It could be $5 or $500,” she says.

“The greatest fun for me was when a high-school boyfriend I haven’t seen since 1969 donated. He saw some article about us and said, ‘That must be Rita.’”

Animal lovers can donate at the Wild Bird Fund website, where one can also consult informative articles such as “How to Rescue a Bird That Has Hit a Window” or “I Found a Baby Bird – – Now What?”

The center conducts guided walks in the park and frequent seminars at the American Museum of Natural History.

Donations to the Wild Bird Fund Center can be made at Information: +1-646-306-2862.

(Mike Di Paola writes on preservation and the environment for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include James S. Russell on architecture, John Mariani on wine.

To contact the writer of this column: Mike Di Paola at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff in New York




The United States Department of Agriculture rounded up and killed more than 260 geese from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last week, which federal officials said was an effort to decrease the number of birds striking planes but which animal-rights advocates said is an unnecessary slaughtering of the geese that tried to take refuge while molting in the national park.

The USDA began removing, and killing, geese in city parks beginning in 2009, after a U.S. Airways jet had to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River when it struck a flock of Canada geese and lost engine power. Last year was the first time the government agency began killing geese from Jamaica Bay, primarily because the National Parks Service had asked the USDA to conduct a supplemental environmental impact statement before it removed birds from the area.

“The reason it’s being done is primarily for the protection of aviation passengers and property due to the risk and hazard of goose strikes at airports there,” said Carol Bannerman, a USDA spokeswoman.

But David Karopkin, the founder and director of GoosewatchNYC – which has documented the removal of hundreds of geese from throughout the city, including the most recent incident at Jamaica Bay – said government officials do not have to kill birds in order to deter bird strikes.

“The culling of the geese is wrong, unethical, and, despite any assurances by officials, it’s cruel and inhumane,” Karopkin said. “We are continuing to uncover the fact that the justifications that are put forth for these killings don’t meet a litmus test of common sense, let alone science.”

Instead of rounding up the geese and killing them, Karopkin said officials should focus their efforts on landscape modification, chasing the birds from the area using dogs, or managing the population with egg oiling.

“Every time they kill a large number of geese, it’s a matter of weeks before it’s repopulated,” Karopkin said. “The geese that were there during the molting period were not there in May… We’ve been patrolling Jamaica Bay for a year, and in May we found barely a couple dozen geese. In June there were a couple hundred because they were there to get through the molting period.”

The molting period is when Canada geese will spend eight to 10 weeks shedding their outer wing feathers and growing new ones, during which time they cannot fly.

Bannerman said “there is potential” for egg oiling in Jamaica Bay, and added that, “in general, wildlife services chases away 90 percent of the Canada geese they encounter” – meaning the birds are not killed but driven from an area with tactics like pyrotechnics and loud sounds.

The spokeswoman also noted the geese population in the city has dropped since it began removing and slaughtering the birds in 2009. She said the USDA killed 290 geese from New York City in 2012 – 285 fewer than in 2011. She also stressed that the number of Canada geese has risen dramatically in recent decades, increasing from about 250,000 in the continental U.S. in 1970 to approximately 3.5 million in 2012 – the result of what she called a “conservation success story.”

“Geese were limited in numbers, and wildlife managers said, ‘We don’t want them to disappear,’ so they’d move them to new areas,” Bannerman said. “Once they moved them, and the geese had a next and the goslings hatched, they became faithful to that area. Especialy in city areas, where there’s no hunting and limited predation, they were able to grow at a rate of about 10 percent a year.”

Two of the geese removed by the USDA and transported to their subsequent slaughter. Photo Courtesy of Goosewatch NYC

Two of the geese removed by the USDA and transported to their subsequent slaughter. Photo Courtesy of Goosewatch NYC

The Canada geese population in New York has mirrored the national trend, and there are about 250,000 of the birds in the state now. Federal officials argue the birds pose an increasing threat to aircraft, and, according to federal statistics, Canada geese have caused 28 plane strikes between 1990 and 2013.

Ken Paskar, a pilot, former Federal Aviation Administration Safety Team Lead Representative, and president of Friends of LaGuardia Airport, also disagreed with the USDA that killing geese was the best way to reduce the chance of bird strikes.

“The experts and data do not support the killing of Canada geese as a solution to our area bird strike problems,” Paskar said in a prepared statement. “Friends of LaGuardia Airport’s first priority is safety, and we oppose the slaughtering of Canada geese in the name of air safety – because the real threat to air travel does not come from the geese, but from the city of New York.”

Paskar went on to cite the city’s current construction of solid waste transfer transfer stations in College Point and on East 91st Street in Manhattan as two major concerns for air travelers.

“This is a critical and extremely dangerous safety issue,” Paskar said. “The transfer stations are essentially food sources which have the potential to attract thousands of birds within the five-mile area around LaGuardia Airport.”

According to a joint study by the FAA and the USDA in August 2012, less than 5 percent of bird strikes at LaGuardia Airport were caused by Canada geese. Meanwhile, 85 percent of bird strikes were a result of gulls, blackbirds, starlings, and other birds – all of which Paskar said will be attracted to the waste transfer stations.

“One can make the area around airports less attractive to birds using falconry, pyrotechnics and other measures,” he said. “Killing animals when other more effective and humane methods are available is unconscionable.”

By Anna Gustafson

Birdwatching News – The New York Times



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A 24-Hour Race for Sightings
A 24-Hour Race for Sightings

In the World Series of Birding, about 100 teams fan out across New Jersey to see as many species as they can.

May 5, 2013, Sunday

What Do the Birders Know?
What Do the Birders Know?

How a common hobby can reveal uncomfortable truths about our world.

April 21, 2013, Sunday

Watchman at the Water’s Edge

Bird life continues at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge after Hurricane Sandy.

March 23, 2013, Saturday

Ranchers Find Hope in Flightless Bird’s Fat
Ranchers Find Hope in Flightless Bird’s Fat

Emu oil, which comes from a block of fat that covers most of the bird’s body, has proved a boon for ranchers in an industry struggling with decline.

February 8, 2013, Friday

In a Minnesota Bog, a Festival of Birds
In a Minnesota Bog, a Festival of Birds

Amid tiny towns and deserted dwellings sits a world-class birding site, the Sax-Zim Bog, where people from around the world travel to glimpse hard-to-spot species.

January 20, 2013, Sunday

The Birds and Birders of Central Park

A documentary featuring the birds and bird watchers of Central Park makes its theatrical debut this Friday in New York.

January 15, 2013, Tuesday

Every Bird Counts, but Some Make the Heart Beat Faster

Roaming with binoculars, a participant in the annual Christmas Bird Count longs to glimpse a certain sparrow.

December 26, 2012, Wednesday

After Audubon, an Artist of the Park
After Audubon, an Artist of the Park

Lee Rogers, who is homeless, sells her detailed watercolors of birds in Central Park.

December 23, 2012, Sunday

Scanning the Central Park Sky With Jonathan Franzen

Mr. Franzen was one of four birders who gave a brief tour of the park on Tuesday.

June 27, 2012, Wednesday

Nature: Now Showing on TV

ONE morning some birder pals and I spend an hour at Sapsucker Woods in Ithaca, N.Y., watching two great blue herons feed their five rowdy chicks. It’s a perfect setting for nesting herons, with an oak-snag overhanging a plush green pond, shallows to hunt in and a living larder of small fish and frogs. Only weeks old, the chicks are mainly fluff and appetite. As mom and dad run relays, the chicks clack wildly like wooden castanets, beaks flying, pecking like speed typists. Sibling rivalry is…

June 24, 2012, Sunday

Science and Truth: We’re All in It Together
Science and Truth: We’re All in It Together

Internet-based crowdsourcing has come to determine the course of scientific research.

May 05, 2012, Saturday

So Much Life on a Little Patch of Earth
So Much Life on a Little Patch of Earth

Rare life forms can sometimes show up on your doorstep, as a family in Washington found. But even the mundane and everyday species can be just as enchanting.

April 24, 2012, Tuesday

Counting Species on a Little Patch of Earth
Counting Species on a Little Patch of Earth

Rare life forms can sometimes show up on your doorstep, as a family in Washington found. But even the mundane and everyday species can be just as enchanting.

April 24, 2012, Tuesday

An Albatross’s Flight from Extinction’s Edge

Remarkable signs of recovery for an albatross species that was once nearly extinguished by human and natural forces.

April 20, 2012, Friday

Rat Poison Is Found in Bodies of 3 Dead Hawks
Rat Poison Is Found in Bodies of 3 Dead Hawks

Exactly where the three red-tailed hawks, found dead in or around Central Park, ingested the chemicals has not been determined.

April 12, 2012, Thursday


Birdwatching News – The New York Times…/b/birds/birdwatching/index.html


News about birdwatching. Commentary and archival information about Birdwatching from The New York Times.

Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Gillibrand: End the War on NYC’s Canada Geese


Petitioning The President of the United States

Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Gillibrand: End the War on NYC’s Canada Geese

Petition by GooseWatch NYC
 Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Gillibrand: End the War on NYC's Canada Geese

Since the landing of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River in January of 2009, the City of New York has contracted with USDA Wildlife Services for hundreds of thousands of dollars to round up and slaughter thousands of Canada geese and goslings from New York City’s parks. Last summer, Sen. Gillibrand introduced federal legislation which led to the roundup and slaughter of 751 Canada geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. These slaughters are inhumane and an ineffective waste of taxpayer dollars.

Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. The methods that USDA Wildlife Services uses to kill geese are broadly understood to be grossly inhumane – during the hottest months of the year flightless geese and goslings are corralled, packed into turkey crates and transported to slaughterhouses or gas chambers; to do so in a wildlife refuge is completely unacceptable, violating the essential concept of a refuge.

Killing Canada geese in the name of air safety is inherently flawed. Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Gillibrand claim that killing geese prevents bird strikes, but all leading bird strike scientists disagree. Many major cities around the world are keeping airports safe from potential bird strikes without resorting to lethal methods. Aviation experts have reiterated that a cull will not make the skies safer for flying. “The consensus among wildlife experts appears to be that a goose cull won’t really do much to reduce the likelihood of bird strikes, especially since there are dozens of birds that use the [Jamaica Bay] preserve,” Russ Niles, editor-in-chief of wrote in a May 6 editorial. “I have not seen where [culling] has been effective as a long-term solution,” said Jim Hall, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board under the Clinton administration. Ron Merritt, a biologist and former Chief for the Air Force’s Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard Team agrees, adding, “Killing 1,000 geese really isn’t going to do anything. If you kill them, nature will fill that vacuum and a new species will pop up in its place.” Environmentalists know the golden rule of ecosystems: if one species is removed, another species will take over.

Research shows that the most effective programs use long-term, non-lethal strategies that reduce or remove the physical conditions that attract particular species to an airport. Birds can be kept out of the pathways of aircraft by employing proven radar detection systems and dissuasive tactics. Habitat modification is also being used successfully to discourage populations of geese from colonizing. Geese numbers can be humanely reduced using proven methods developed especially for use in Canada geese.

The USDA Canada goose slaughters are conducted without community notification, transparency, or accountability. The roundups of Canada geese are financed by taxpayers and conducted by a federal agency in city parks, which are public spaces. The public has a right to transparency of governmental operations, and at a minimum, to view video documentation of the treatment of Canada geese during the roundups in order judge for themselves whether they support these extreme measures.

GooseWatch NYC was formed in 2011 in response to the roundup and killing of Canada geese in New York City parks that started in 2009. Recently, the organization has assisted with grassroots efforts in ScarsdaleMamoroneck and North Hempstead, where the planned killing of geese was called off. For more information, please visit

The President of the United States
The U.S. Senate
The U.S. House of Representatives
The NY State Senate
The NY State House
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York
Sen. Charles Schumer, New York
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Dave Avrin, National Park Service
Secretary Tom Vilsack, United States Dept. of Agriculture
Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Christine C. Quinn, New York City Council Speaker
Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President
John Liu, NYC Comptroller
Bill DeBlasio, NYC Public Advocate
William Thompson, Jr.
Martin Lowney, USDA
Inspector General, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Farrell Sklerov, New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Patrick J. Foye, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Melissa Mark-Viverito, NYC Councilmember
Mark Weprin, NYC Councilmember
Jimmy Van Bramer, NYC Councilmember
Peter F. Vallone, Jr., NYC Councilmember
James Vacca, NYC Councilmember
Eric Ulrich, NYC Councilmember
James S. Oddo, NYC Councilmember
Stephen Levin, NYC Councilmember
Brad Lander, NYC Councilmember
Karen Koslowitz, NYC Councilmember
Peter Koo, NYC Councilmember
Letitia James, NYC Councilmember
Vincent J. Gentile, NYC Councilmember
Sally Jewell, Secretary of the US Dept. of the Interior
Inez Dickens, NYC Councilmember
I am writing to express my opposition to the killing of geese in New York City by USDA Wildlife Services, and request your support.Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. USDA agents will capture vulnerable geese during the summer molt, when they can’t fly, separate parents…




Part of annual culling to protect airplanes. Goose lovers are appalled.

Comments (31)


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2013, 11:42 AM


Canada geese like these were slaughtered in Inwood Hill Park early this morning.

Bird lovers in Inwood Hill Park were horrified Wednesday morning to learn that about a dozen Canada geese and goslings were rounded up and killed in the name of aviation safety.

The massacre was first reported by GooseWatch NYC, a watchbird group that was created after a much larger slaughter in Prospect Park in 2010.

“I’m in tears,” said Inwood resident Suzanne Soehner, a GooseWatch volunteer.

Soehner also complained that no advance notification was provided for the cover-of-darkness killing.

“This morning marks another dark day for wildlife in city parks,” said David Karopkin, founder and director of GooseWatch NYC. “New York City has contracted with USDA Wildlife Services, an agency known for its cruelty to animals and secrecy.”

City officials have defended the periodic killing of geese — called “culling” — as necessary to protect air traffic at LaGuardia and Kennedy airports. The city contracts out the actual killing to USDA wildlife officials.

Public enemy number one? This goose (right, with duck), photographed this week in Inwood Hill Park, is now dead, thanks to a federal massacre of Canada geese in the name of aviation safety.

Public enemy number one? This goose (right, with duck), photographed this week in Inwood Hill Park, is now dead, thanks to a federal massacre of Canada geese in the name of aviation safety.


United States Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Carol Bannerman declined to provide an exact number of victims of Wednesday’s killing, but reiterated that Inwood Hill Park is within the seven-mile bird-free zone that officials believe is necessary to protect planes.

“Canada geese are among the top five hazardous species or groups of birds to aviation,” Bannerman said. “Goose-aircraft strikes aren’t common (but) more than half are with multiple geese and three-quarters have an effect on the flight or cause damage.”

That said, there were 1,400 confirmed goose strikes between 1990 and 2012, or roughly 116 a year. But there are an estimated 87,000 flights per day, meaning bird strikes occur in one out of every 270,000 flights.

Lightning strikes airliners more often.

Still, goose strikes have been charged with bringing down aircraft. The Prospect Park goose slaughter, for example came after the famed “Miracle on the Hudson” safe landing of a US Airways plane by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in January, 2009 — a landing allegedly necessitated by a bird strike.

Geneviève Mathis, local member of Goose Watch NYC, said she cried when she saw the killing field.

Geneviève Mathis, local member of Goose Watch NYC, said she cried when she saw the killing field.

The bird-free zone was expanded to seven miles around each airport after that near fatal crash.


Opponents say that culling does not solve the problem because other geese return to fill the bird-less vacuum.

“When you cull geese, they get replaced,” said Ken Paskar, president of Friends of LaGuardia Airport and a former lead safety representative for the FAA Safety Team.

“Aviation safety is being used as an excuse to kill the birds.”

The slaughter in Inwood Hill Park marks the start of the USDA killing season. Typically, agents capture and kill geese during the summer molt when they can’t fly.

“The geese are herded into a temporary enclosure, carried by hand to poultry crates and transported to a commercial processing facility,” said Bannerman. “The meat will be donated to food charities.”

In 2012, Bannerman said, the 290 geese collected at city properties yielded 258 pounds of meat to charities upstate, near the goose processing plants.

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