2019 has been another pivotal year for NCA and the continued revitalization of Newtown Creek. We expanded our STEM Urban Ecology Curriculum program; assumed management of the Kingsland Wildflowers green roof and community space; developed a community driven plan for the Gateway to Greenpoint site; and planted native wildflower meadows in Greenpoint – all the while continuing our regular water quality sampling program; street end cleanups and intertidal restoration projects; walking and biking tours; and, of course, advocacy work with city, state and federal agencies. This work is only made possible through our strong partnerships with local and likeminded organizations and the support of our network.
To better understand the impacts of our work in recent years we compiled stats on three different core activities critical to our mission of Revealing, Restoring and Revitalizing Newtown Creek.
Our programming takes many forms, from school field trips to walking tours to volunteer planting events, public workshops, open hours and lectures. The diversity of our free and low-cost programming allows us to introduce a wider audience to Newtown Creek, it’s issues, opportunities and paths towards stewardship and improvement. In the past four years we have tripled our impact, engaging over 3,800 people in 2019 (as compared to 1,141 in 2016). This is in large part due to our widening partnerships and development of Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages which now serves as headquarters for much of our operations and programming.
One of our fundamental tasks at NCA is to see the elimination of all ongoing pollution sources. Working in a similar vein, and often in close conjunction with, our partners at Riverkeeper we perform regular patrol and monitoring of Newtown Creek to identify, document and track incidents of pollution. This includes issues like illegal dumping, new sources of oil sheens, or stormwater violations. 2019 saw a steep decline in the number of incidents that we identified and reported (just 6) compared to previous years (20 in 2016), which we believe to be a clear sign that the diligence of our patrol efforts – including a greater network of Newtown Creek stewards that relay potential issues – is working.
We have always believed that the creation and improvement of access to Newtown Creek is fundamental in growing awareness and stewardship. Since 2016 we have increased focus on improving public street end and right-of-way areas through activities like clean-up and/or planting events. In 2019, we signed an MOU with NYC Dept. of Transportation to formalize our role in maintaining and improving a number of these key areas, which still need significant care, planning and ultimate redesign to better address environmental an community needs.
With a new decade approaching we look forward to continuing these trends of expanding our programming, increasing stewardship and eliminating pollution to and within Newtown Creek. We ask that you consider supporting our efforts by making a tax-deductible contribution. Click here to make a secure donation today.