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NYSG Sets Sail at Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance Conference, Reports on NYC Efforts
NYC - News
New York, NY, May 23, 2012 - New York Sea Grant was well represented at this year's Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, held on May 18-19 at Chelsea Piers and other points along the Hudson River. Friday's full-day of plenary and panel sessions was bookmarked by cruises along the River. Towards the evening hours, attendees got aboard the Hornblower Hybrid, the nation’s first vessel powered by diesel, hydrogen, batteries, wind and solar energy. This is where NYSG's display was set up by Web Content Manager Paul C. Focazio.

The focus of the MWA conference was on implementing many of the ideas and initiatives put forth for the New York-New Jersey Harbor and Estuary at previous conferences. MWA and its many partner organizations are working together to clean New York City's waters, provide better access, green the port and waterfront industry, create waterfront jobs, and prepare for the new challenge of sea level rise.

"Spirit of New York" is one of the many touring boats regularly docked at Chelsea Pier's Pier 61. In the early morning hours of the MWA conference, we got aboard a similar boat, Atlantica, for an up-close tour of places where the working waterfront and new development along the Hudson River on the lower west side of Manhattan are providing good jobs along with opportunities for restoring the harbor.

Many water bodies connect in with the Hudson River estuary in the New York City area, including the East River, Long Island Sound, Newark Bay, New York Bay, New York Bay (whose upper and lower portions are separated from by the Verrazano Narrows strait), Jamaica Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

In a New York Sea Grant-funded research project, College of Staten Island investigator Dr. William G. Wallace examined how metals move up the food chain and effect aquatic predator and prey species. Cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, zinc: all are metals that have a place in our industrialized world. But they also can be toxic to the living things of our air, land and sea … particularly when they occur in concentrations typical of urban environments like New York City.

“Down” on the Battery, at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, much of New York City and adjacent coastal Long Island to the east lies less than 15 feet above mean sea level. “2-3 million people in the outer boroughs of southern Brooklyn and Queens are at risk for flooding due to storm surge, with little chance for escape,” says Stony Brook University Oceanography professor and New York Sea Grant-funded storm surge expert Malcolm Bowman.

For a sample of some NYSG research projects and education efforts in and around the New York City area, see our "NYSG in NYC" fact sheet (pdf). And for more on NYSG in NYC, see www.nyseagrant.org/nyc.

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 32 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.

As the sun begins to set later in the day, Manhattan's southern end shines.

Heading further out in New York Harbor, the City's giants shrinking toward the horizon line.

All images above and below by Paul C. Focazio, Web Content Manager, NYSG

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