The Newtown Creek Alliance is a community-based organization dedicated to restoring, revealing and revitalizing Newtown Creek.
The Newtown Creek Alliance represents the interests of community residents and local businesses who are dedicated to restoring community health, water quality, habitat, access, and vibrant water-dependent commerce along Newtown Creek. Since 2002, the Alliance has served as a catalyst and channel for effective community action and our efforts have made a positive and enduring impact on the health and quality of life of Creek-side communities.
The Newtown Creek Alliance works to restore the Creek by securing mitigation and remediation of known environmental hazards – both in the neighborhoods surrounding Newtown Creek and in Newtown Creek itself – reporting ongoing sources of pollution, and preventing new pollution. To restore the ecological functions of the waterway, the Newtown Creek Alliance supports investments in green infrastructure, bioremediation, and habitat restoration.
The Newtown Creek Alliance endeavors to reveal the Creek by conducting tours by foot, bike, bus, and boat that educate the public about the history of the waterway and current activity. We also work to nurture and expand open spaces along Newtown Creek to enable public access to a waterway which has few public access points and we partner with educational institutions to teach Newtown Creek-based curricula.
The Newtown Creek Alliance helps revitalize watershed communities by playing a leadership role in area-wide brownfield redevelopment planning, creating programs that improve the environmental profile of industrial businesses, and engaging in workforce development to create local green jobs. Our work supports environmental, economic and human health.
Contact: info (at) newtowncreekalliance (dot) org
Board of Directors
Michael Heimbinder (Chair) is Founder and Executive Director of HabitatMap, a Brooklyn based non-profit that builds web-tools to support grassroots environmental organizing. He is also a technical advisor to the Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods where he consults on solid waste management issues in New York City. Michael is a graduate of Colorado College and received his M.A. in International Affairs from the New School for Social Research.
Steve Lang (VIce Chair) has a PhD in sociology and is an associate professor at LaGuardia Community College where he teaches urban sociology and environmental sociology. He has done research on the political ecology of urban and suburban coastal environments. At LaGuardia, he helps foster a sense of awareness on the part of faculty and students regarding the environmental, political, and economic issues facing Newtown Creek.
Bill Schuck (Treasurer) is a Greenpoint resident who has the good fortune to be one of the few City residents to actually live on the Newtown Creek. Bill is a visual artist and educator with a studio located a few feet from the Creek’s bulkhead; he has been boating and kayaking on Newtown Creek for 15 years.
Sean Dixon is a Staff Attorney at Hudson Riverkeeper, where he focuses on protecting New York City’s environment, waterways, and communities. He also works on national energy policy issues, such as pipeline and energy facility siting, crude oil and natural gas extraction, and hazardous material transport issues like crude-by-rail. Sean is on the Steering Committees of the Newtown Creek Superfund Community Advisory Group and the SWIM Coalition, is a member of the Gowanus Canal Superfund Community Advisory Group, is the New York State Co-Chair of the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program’s Citizen Advisory Committee. Sean is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Pace Law School, an Adjunct Professor at Clarkson University’s Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, co-founded Village Fishmonger, LLC, a NYC-based sustainable seafood company, and is on the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Law. Sean studied marine biology and geology at Boston University, earned a master’s degree in climate change and coastal ecosystems at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and earned a JD and LLM at Pace Law School, focusing on climate change, fisheries, and environmental law.
Christine Holowacz is the Community Liaison at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment plant for the Newtown Creek Monitor Committee. Christine received the Woman of the Millennium and the Carmine “Dusty” De Chair Community awards from the Seneca Club in 2001 & 2002 for her work with GWAPP and a Citation in 2002 from the Borough President for her work in the Polish Community. President of the Greenpoint Property Owners since 1989, Christine devotes much of her time to issues concerning senior citizen homeowners. She is also the Church of St. Cecilia political and housing coordinator. She holds a BA in Economics and Accounting from Brooklyn College.
Laura Hofmann is a St. Anthony’s parishioner, mother of six and grandmother of five. Laura works for St. Nicks Alliance as a housing counselor/outreach specialist. She is a lifelong Greenpoint resident whose family has been negatively impacted by environmental factors in her community. Because of this, she’s been active in parks, waterfront and environmental organizations, with a focus on her community’s health. Laura is currently a member of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee, Kosciusko Bridge Stakeholders Advisory Committee, Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group, Greenpoint Community Advisory Panel, Greenpoint Williamsburg Organizations United for Trash Reduction and Garbage Equity and is a co-founder of Barge Park Pals. Laura earned an Associate of Arts degree in Labor & Community Organizing at LaGuardia Community College, and is currently studying at Hunter College as an Urban Studies major. She brings with her an honorable mention for the Municipal Arts Society Yolanda Garcia Planning Award, certification in street tree pruning, and odor paneling training.
Dorothy Morehead serves on Community Board 2 of Queens, chairing the Environmental Committee. She is a founder and board member of ARROW (Astoria Residents Reclaiming Our World). Board member and vice president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce. Serves on the Montauk Cutoff Coalition to redevelop MTA property into an environmental hub in Long Island City. Active with HarborLAB, an organization offering kayaking and environmental activities to NYC youth in Long Island City and at the Neversink Reservoir. She served as president of the Sunnyside Foundation for more than fifteen years, as president of the Parents Association of City-As-School and on the boards of the Greater Astoria Historical Society and Rosewood Chamber Ensemble. She has served as president of her property owners for more than twenty years and has conducted walking tours of Sunnyside Gardens Historic District for U.S. and foreign university architecture and city planning schools. Dorothy has a degree in Urban Studies from Queens College with a minor in Earth Studies. She is a real estate broker in Sunnyside.
Thomas Outerbridge has worked in recycling for more than 23 years, including for the State of Maine, the NYC Department of Sanitation, and his own business. Since 2003, he has worked for Sims Metal Management. He is General Manager of Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR), and responsible for processing and marketing New York City’s curbside recyclables. SMR operates waterfront facilities on Newtown Creek, the Bronx River, Gowanus Bay, and at Claremont Terminal in Jersey City.
Dewey M. Thompson has been active in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community for almost two decades. Helping to found the Greenpoint Williamsburg Youth Soccer League got him involved in parks and open space issues. In addition to co-chairing GWAPP, he served on the Parks Committee of Community Board #1 for five years, is on the board of the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn and, most recently, founded and helms the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Dewey lives in Greenpoint with his wife Katherine (also a chronic volunteer) and three children.
Willis Elkins (email: welkins (at) newtowncreekalliance.org) oversees the coordination and execution of a number of current NCA projects. His interest and work with Newtown Creek involve environmental restoration, public access and community education. Willis is co-chair of the Newtown Creek Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG), member of Brooklyn Community Board 1 and a founding member of the North Brooklyn Boat Club. He has a number of years working in administrative capacities for non-profit organizations including the Buckminster Fuller Institute, where he serves as a review team member for an annual design challenge. Willis received a BA from New York University and has been a Newtown Creek watershed resident since 2007.