Newtown Creek Alliance


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.

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).  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.

Program Manager

Willis Elkins (email: welkins (at) 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 a founding member of the North Brooklyn Boat Club, where her serves as canoe instructor and trip leader – often leading environmental education outings on Newtown Creek. He has a number of years working in administrative capacities for non-profit organizations including workung for the Buckminster Fuller Institute, where he still serves as a review team member for an annual design challenge. Willis received a BA from New York University (2006), has been a Newtown Creek resident since 2007 and documents a number of his more creative endeavors on his website.




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