Cormorant on Newtown Creek. Photo by Mitch Waxman

 

Some of you may know that I spend a lot of time around Newtown Creek.

Bernie Ente and Mitch Waxman introduced me to the troubled waterway about 8-ish years ago, and I’ve been there ever since.

 

Great blue heron on Newtown Creek. Photo by Mitch Waxman

 

I remember first being blown away by the horrific pollution, but as my eyes “adjusted”, I began to notice the night herons nesting in the trees growing along putrid mustard-yellow waters, pure white egrets gliding over the crumbling bulkheads, schools of tiny fish feeding on the unmentionables near the sewer outfalls – I thought to myself, life has not left this place.

 

 

Fast-forward 8-years, and another group I am involved with, Newtown Creek Alliance, has launched another very exciting project: Living Dock. This project is living proof that Newtown Creek is not “like the Dead Sea” as a government official once put forth in a meeting.

 

NCA’s Willis Elkins explains the premise of the Living Dock to a visiting group. Photo by Patterson Beckwith via Newtown Creek Alliance | Living Dock

 

Thanks to funding from GCEF, NCA has created a 200 sq foot floating dock that is designed to provide habitat for marine organisms and plants in Newtown Creek.

 

Mummichog and Atlantic Silverside. Photo by Mitch Waxman via Newtown Creek Alliance | Living Dock

 

More than just a place for marine life to hang, the Living Dock will also test bio-remediation strategies using oysters, mussels and native plants, which can help clean contaminated waters of excessive nutrients and bacteria.

 

Blue and ribbed mussels. Photo Courtesy of Newtown Creek Alliance | Living Dock

 

Want to check out the Living Dock for yourself? For a first hand look at the habitat units and numerous species that have been returning to Newtown Creek, get in touch program manager Willis Elkins – welkins (at) newtowncreekalliance (dot) org

Read more about the Living Dock project here and follow its progress here…

 

 

 

 

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