Environment

DEP Fudged Newtown Creek Water Quality Reports, According to Former Employees

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Newtown Creek as seen from the Pulaski Bridge. Photo by Laura Apperson

We’ve already talked about how Newtown Creek is one of the most polluted waterways in the country  (AKA, don’t even think about taking a dip or eating its fish). And while everyone knows this is true, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reportedly lied about the already horrific water quality in city reports—and former employees have banded together to potentially sue the City of New York. Continue reading

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Volunteers: Cleanup at the Newtown Creek Living Dock This Sunday

The Newtown Creek Living Dock
The Newtown Creek Living Dock

Please join the Newtown Creek Alliance in helping to clean up and improve the North Henry Street shoreline site this Sunday. Volunteers can assist with tasks like garbage pickup, weed removal, planting and path making. Gloves will be provided, and please dress accordingly. No RSVP required.

Sunday July 17th
North Henry Street – NCA Living Dock
1 to 5pm
540 Kingsland Avenue Greenpoint, Brooklyn

The North Henry Street site is host to the NCA Living Dock. With money from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, NCA created the Living Dock; a 200-sq foot floating habitat structure for marine organisms. Despite poor environmental conditions, wildlife is returning to the Creek. The Living Dock is a way to encourage and document this trend. Come see the site, visit the Living Dock and lend a hand!

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Celebrating the Future Environmental Stewards of Greenpoint

What was there to celebrate on a freezing cold evening in the heart of winter in Greenpoint? The kickoff of the Greenpoint Eco Schools program, which was recently awarded funding from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund.

To celebrate the funding and the beginning of the program, the National Wildlife Federation invited community members to Cafe Edna’s on Nassau Avenue for drinks and delicious snacks. Assemblymember Joseph Lentol, principals from participating schools, local environmental groups, representatives from City Councilmember Stephen’s Levin’s office, and the GCEF were all on hand to join the night’s festivities. Continue reading

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Vote for the Greenpoint Environmental Business Stewardship Project Tonight & Saturday!

(sponsored)

Greenpointers,

Do you care about keeping good jobs in Greenpoint and helping local businesses to be more environmentally sustainable?

Vote for the Greenpoint Environmental Business Stewardship Project!

This project will raise the quality of life in Greenpoint by working with local businesses to prevent pollution; protect workers from exposure to chemicals; cut back on waste, water, and energy use; improve the health of the community; and grow local businesses.

Green Businesses = Healthy Communities

We have an opportunity to win a grant from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, but we need your help!

There are three opportunities to vote!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Polish & Slavic Center 177 Kent St.

Noon – 2:30 pm or 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Polish National Home “Warsaw”

261 Driggs Ave.

10:30 am – 3:00 pm

Visit the “community preferencing” section of   www.gcefund.org

You can vote for more than one project!

Check out these great proposals as well: Greenpoint Eco-Schools: Creating a Legacy of Sustainability and Curb Your Litter: Greenpoint.

Sponsored post courtesy of ITAC.

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Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Makers: Meet Ben Flanner of Brooklyn Grange

Do you know where to find the world’s largest rooftop soil farms? Believe it or not, they’re right here in Brooklyn! This week I asked Ben Flanner of Brooklyn Grange to tell me more about the two farms he operates–a 1.5 acre rooftop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and a 1-acre rooftop in Long Island City– and what he’s been cultivating (and selling every Sunday at McGolrick’s Farmers Market).  The farms grow over 50,000 lbs of organically-cultivated produce per year. In addition to growing and distributing fresh local vegetables and herbs, Brooklyn Grange also sells local honey from New York City’s first commercial apiary, provides urban farming and green roof consulting and installation services to clients worldwide, and partner with numerous non-profit organizations throughout New York to promote healthy and strong local communities. Continue reading

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A lot…Or Nothing – What is Really Going on with the North Brooklyn Boathouse?

So a lot is going on with the Newtown Creek Environmental Benefit Project. Or nothing is going on with it. It really depends on who you ask.

Groups benefiting from the Hudson River Foundation break down the numbers.

Wednesday night (4/23), a progress meeting on the project was held in Long Island City. Michelle Moore from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) kicked things off, and almost immediately voices were raised questioning funding and lack of progress. Even Joseph Lentol, the New York State Assemblyman that represents Greenpoint, expressed his disappointment at the lack of progress with the project so far. Continue reading

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What Will Become of the Huxley Envelope Building?

Photo by Joanne Ambia

Many of you might be familiar with the nearby Huxley Envelope building, a fixture sight on the waterfront and an identifier of Greenpoint across the soiled waters of the East River.

Remediation Site Map

But what you might not know is that the entire building and surrounding land could be demolished, as a result of a major brownfield cleanup run by the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), which will purge the area of what they refer to as “hazardous waste and/or petrolium.” An official report found that the cleanup will not post a significant threat to public health …but more on that later. Basically the remediation is going to detox the shitty/toxic soil embedded on our deceivingly pretty waterfront, which I’m sure we can all agree, is a good thing. I mean, this soil has to get clean at some point; that’s the whole idea of a Superfund site. Continue reading

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What’s that Smell? Dredging Party Boat!

Get in line for the cruise of your life...the sludge boat

How many people can say that they live in a neighborhood that has scheduled dredging? That’s something to brag about, kind of like when you have a really disgusting, oozing leg wound that you really want to show people, just to prove to them that it’s super gross.

Beginning this week, the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection will run a 6 week process of removing the “sediment and debris” that collects under Newtown Creek. That’s a nice way of saying runoff trash, sewage, and whatever else drifted from the streets (dead rats? needles? chicken nuggets?) and decided to solidify on the bottom of our very own urban waterway. Some lovingly call it “black mayonnaise,” which to clarify, is not the name of an artisanal sandwich spread or an underground EDM festival. Continue reading

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More GREEN Money! $6 Million from DEP for Private Property Owners!

Eagle St Rooftop Farms

The city is catching on that we need to get more sustainable in terms of our infrastructure. One way is to green private residences in ways that helps capture and redirect rainwater that would otherwise overwhelm the sewer system and cause CSOs (which is when raw sewage is released into our waterways.) Yeah – it’s totally a nasty affair and should be avoided!

NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced $6 million in grant funding is available for green infrastructure projects like rain gardens, blue roofs, green roofs, and porous pavement that manage stormwater runoff from private property. Private property owners in all five boroughs of New York City are eligible to apply. Continue reading

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Great Backyard Bird Count Happening Now – Just Look In Your Yard! (2/14-17)

Cooper's Hawk in Greenpoint, Brooklyn © Jennifer Galatioto

I was so excited to see birds starting to use the new feeders we put up in our new backyard. At first it was just sparrows and starlings with some mourning doves eating the seeds that fell on the ground. Then I spotted gorgeous House Finches!

I will record all of these birds as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, which is happening now through 2/17! Take a look in your yard or nearby park for at least 15 minutes and count the birds you see in that period of time. This is a great activity for the whole family, kids, cats, etc.

Click here to get started here. Even easier – there is an app to record your observations.

The data from YOU citizen scientists is used by REAL scientists to understand where and how many species of birds there are in a specific place at a specific time – this weekend! You can watch all this data being submitted in real time on the GBBC website.

Birds to look out for in Brooklyn: Pigeons, Starlings, Sparrows, House Finches, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Down Woodpeckers, Robins, Red Tailed Hawks, Mourning Doves, Juncos, Seagulls, Cooper’s Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Kestrels, Snowy Owls (for real!)

Last year I made this video with the house finches that lived on our fire escape before our landlord flipped out about the bird feeder…Maybe they followed us to our new home.

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