Newtown Creek Alliance

GCEF Projects Need Your Vote!

November 12th, 2014



The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (GCEF) is currently considering 13 large projects for funding. Greenpoint residents over the age of 16 will have the opportunity to vote for these projects on November 20th and 22nd. Newtown Creek Alliance is fortunate to be involved in three of these projects, including one as project lead. Please read more about the projects below and head to the polls on November 20th and 22nd! Here is more info about the voting process and who is eligible to vote.



Greenpoint Community Green Roof
Project Lead: Newtown Creek Alliance (in partnership with HighView Creations)
Funds Requested / Matching: $1,229,000 / $407,007
About: This project proposes to install a 40,300 sq. ft. intensive green roof, and conduct educational programming focused on stormwater management and habitat provided by the green roof, at the campus of Automotive High School (AHS) and Frances Perkins Academy. Major project activities include:
- performing an engineering structural analysis of the AHS roof;
- designing and installing the green roof;
- conducting training for maintaining the roof, and engaging students and the community in its maintenance;
- delivering public education about the environmental benefits of the roof through tours, programs, signs, and social media;
- developing a curriculum to support science and technology classes at the school.



AirCasting Greenpoint: Citizen Science for Clean Air
Project Lead: HabitatMap
Funds Requested / Matching: $235,388 / $893,508
About: AirCasting Greenpoint is a community-based participatory research project that will: 1) equip Greenpoint residents with wearable sensors and smartphones for recording, mapping, and sharing air quality measurements and 2) provide the Greenpoint community with innovative ways to visualize and make sense of the collected data to reduce air pollution exposures and address community concerns related to air pollution, health, and quality of life. Major activities include:
-surveying Greenpoint residents regarding their air pollution concerns;
-training participants in air quality sampling, health tracking, and data analysis;
-conducting a GIS analysis to examine relationships between air and health;
-performing a policy analysis to identify initiatives for improving air quality in Greenpoint;
-working with Greenpoint community-based organizations to review potential clean air initiatives, select several to pursue, and provide support for realizing these initiatives.
-organizing a workshop during which Greenpoint participants, trained in air quality sampling and data analysis, can transfer their knowledge and findings to others.



Intertidal Wetland Project
Project Lead: LaGuardia Community College
Funds Requested / Matching:  $130,178 / $130,911
About: This project (a continuation of the Wetland Frames work) proposes to assess degraded shoreline sites along Newtown Creek currently comprised of rip-rap and eroded bulkheads for their potential for greening using “constructed” wetland habitat.
Major project activities include:
- creating conceptual designs in collaboration with the community and professional contractors for intertidal wetland construction at two shoreline sites;
- advancing one of the two sites to a fully engineered design, including construction drawings, cost estimates, and permits;
- installing “soft” salt marsh habitat areas along the walls of existing “hard” bulkheads; and
- expanding marsh habitat units already installed on bulkhead walls at existing sites.

NCA Public Meeting: November 19th

November 10th, 2014

NCA Public Meeting Nov 2014

Thanks to everyone for joining us for the event, at to Peter Pan Dounts for donating some pastries! For those that missed the event, we have shared many of the presentations below. Enjoy and stay posted for info on our next public meeting!

Wetland Restoration Project by Dr. Sarah Durand
Open Sewer Atlas by Josh Eichen and Korin Tangtrakul
Aircasting Greenpoint by Michael Heimbinder


Holy Menhaden

November 8th, 2014


An amazing scene has descended upon Newtown Creek. As of November 6th, massive schools of Menhaden (moss bunker) have occupied large portions of Newtown Creek. They have been seen from the East River to the Greenpoint Avenue bridge, Whale Creek and all the way throughout Dutch Kills (where water quality is notably worse). Is this a rare event? As Riverkeeper’s John Lipscomb puts it: “Riverkeeper has patrolled Newtown Creek since 2002. I’ve never seen this before. It’s so wonderful to see life returning.”


These indigenous creatures were once a very common sight in Newtown Creek, serving the vital role of consuming phytoplankton and removing excess nitrogen and phosphorus from the waters. Seeing their return in conjunction with oysters -another keystone filter species – is a very promising sign for the future of Newtown Creek.

One of the most extraordinary aspects of this occurrence was observed by Professor Sarah Durand (LaGuardia Community College). Water quality samples collected in Dutch Kills basin on November 7th, just 24 hours from NCA’s last #CSOalert, registered an estimated ZERO enterococcus cells per 100ml – a completely unprecedented amount following a rain storm (see 2012 results from the same location for comparison). Could this invasion of filter feeding fish have had such a dramatic impact on bacteria levels in the creek?


Is this a freak event or a sign of things to come? Either way we tried to get as much documentation as possible in these past few days. Head to our Flickr page to see more, or better yet head to the creek and see the Menhaden for yourself!

Bike Tour, October 19th

October 13th, 2014


Join NCA, Green Shores NYC, Recycle-A-Bicycle,  and Transportation Alternatives for a bike tour around Newtown Creek.

We will lead this leisurely paced tour which will highlight the current connections and opportunites for improved connections to the Creek and between the Creek neighborhoods of Queens and Brooklyn. Owning a bike is not a pre-requisite BUT knowing how to ride is! Participants needing bikes are able to borrow one for the day from Recycle A Bicycle, where they can also borrow a helmet.

Register for a spot here.

October 19th, 11am to 2pm

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