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Category Archives:

East River

Phytoremediation, Park Intern Hannah Schanzer’s Summer Project

Hannah Schanzer is a Park Intern at Solar One this summer, working in Stuyvesant Cove Park. She is a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis, studying Environmental Policy and Urban Studies. She has come to the Park this summer to learn more about urban park stewardship and urban ecology.

For my summer research project, I really wanted to focus on studying how the urban setting impacts the biodiversity of the park. Stuyvesant Cove Park is situated between a gas station, a power plant, and the highway. Additionally, it is located on the former site of a cement mixing factory.

Preliminary testing revealed that the soil in some beds of the park have slightly elevated levels of lead, although not enough to cause concern with park operations (highest lead concentration in a bed was 80 ppm (parts per million), anything less than 100 ppm is considered safe for children to play in). I was curious to find out whether there was a way to “clean” the soil with the highest lead concentration without treating it with chemicals or replacing it with imported soil.

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How Antarctic Ice Affects Climate in NYC

When we consider how best to address climate change, we tend to focus on the everyday actions we can do at the local level, whether that happens at the scale of personal habits like  recycling, composting or bicycling or the citywide effort to retrofit our aging building stock. But some climate effects begin far, far away- notably 8,000 miles away in Antarctica.

A new study from the National Academy of Sciences uses computer projections based on climate info from prehistory and projects its models to 2300, using thousands of computer simulations. What they found was good news in some ways, and bad news in others.

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L Train Closure Open Houses Are Coming

Got questions about the planned L train closures? Join the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the NYC Department of Transportation for a series of open houses to learn and ask questions about plans for the 15-month closure of the Canarsie Tunnel, beginning in April 2019. Please join us at one of these events, and feel free to arrive anytime during the timeframes listed.

East Williamsburg: Wednesday, January 24
5-8pm
Progress High School
850 Grand Street bet Bushwick Ave & Waterbury St, Brooklyn

Manhattan East Side: Wednesday, January 31
5-8pm
344 East 14th Street bet First & Second Aves, Manhattan

Williamsburg: Thursday, February 8
5-8pm
Williamsburg Community Center
195 Graham Avenue bet Scoles & Stagg Sts, Brooklyn

Manhattan West Side: Wednesday, February 14
5-8pm
Our Lady of Guadalupe
328 West 14th Street bet Eighth Ave & Hudson St, Manhattan

You can download the flyer here.

Winter Blooms in NYC

While most people look to spring as the season when flowers start blooming in NYC, some plants don’t care that the weather is cold. And as it happens, both Madison Square and Stuyvesant Cove Parks are home to a few…and the ones in Stuy Cove are, of course, native species.

Zizea aurea, or golden Alexander, a native perennial that can be found across the entire East Coast, from Canada to Florida. It generally prefers moist conditions in woodlands or prairies, and grows in Stuy Cove. Last winter, it flowered continuously!

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New Report Shows NYC Waterways Are Cleanest They’ve Been in 100 Years

Being that Solar One is physically close to the water, the condition of that water is anything but an abstract notion to us. Water quality testing is one of our Education team’s most popular field trip offerings, we have a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) pipe running diagonally under the blacktop, and we host some of the Billion Oyster Project‘s little bivalve charges. Students who come to Stuy Cove can find out exactly what’s in our water on any given day.

And while most days, we generally do find at least a little bit of bacteria, a new report from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows that remarkable improvements have been made in recent decades.

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Will Coastal US Homes Be Underwater Before the Mortgages Are Even Due?

A new study predicts that coastal flooding could become a regular event- as much as three times a week, according to new study published in the journal PLOS One- by 2045, or before the mortgages on houses bought this year would even come due.

Right now, coastal floods occur in the mid-Atlantic region about once a month. The new projections would mean ten times more floods, perhaps as many as three times a week, or 120 per year.

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