A ‘Broken Windows’ Theory for Environmentalism

Aside

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: http://www.riverkeeper.org/blog/watchdog/broken-windows-environmentalism/#sthash.gpm33ZOA.dpuf

INCove News

Aside

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

Aside

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.

Connect With NYTMetro

Metro Twitter Logo.

Follow us on Twitterand like us on Facebookfor news and conversation.

Enlarge This Image

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

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

Enlarge This Image

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

Aside

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.

☆YOU’RE INVITED!☆
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

Aside

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

☆YOU’RE INVITED!☆
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.

YES, I’LL BE THERE!

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

Bo

INCove News

Aside

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

Riverkeeper

Riverkeeper.org
View as webpage
Share!
facebook small logo Twitter logo 20x20 LinkedIn logo 20x20 envelope button graphic 30x20
EcoSalon 2013 banner 2 500

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

TICKETS:
$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.

SPECIAL THANKS
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.

Forward this messageLog in to update your profileUnsubscribe

If you have received this e-mail from a friend, sign up now and receive Riverkeeper news in your in box!

powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software

INCove News

Aside

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: samuellawrencefoundation.org . In order to facilitate registration at the event, please pre-register at www.surveymonkey.com/s/FukushimaLessonsforNY

For people who are unable to attend, the NY and Boston panel can be heard on a live feed at

www.livestream.com/fukushimalessons. These webcasts will be archived at the link for at least 30 days.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Leah Brown / Olive PR Solutions

o: 619.955.5285 x105/ m: 858.337.2995

leah www.OlivePRSolutions.com

For further information, please contact:

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

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)
www.clearwater.org

><((((º> ><((((º> ><((((º> ><((((º>

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