project leader
Shayna K
location
344 East 14th Street
Manhattan (East Village)
latest update rss
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the project

Watershed – Fish on 14th Street, is a multi-media public artwork that aims to build awareness and educate community members in and around New York City about water ecology, which is of the utmost importance for a city surrounded by water. The artwork will be projected on 14th Street and in the building.

As part of the effort to extend awareness and educate our community members beyond the life of the physical artwork, we are planning a series of educational programming to take place toward the end of the school year that will engage youth ages 3-10. These programs will take place in our Preschool classrooms, during our Afterschool programming with our Junior Green Team, over our Spring Break Holiday Camp, and on Sunday, May 20th as a community engagement event that will be part of our annual arts and culture event, the LABA Arts Festival.

The goals of these programs will be to educate participants in hands- on ways about why water ecology is important, how they can advocate for clean water projects, what the Y does as a center focused on greening efforts, and how other local agencies in the area are focusing on cleaning up our waterways.

See a video of the proposed project in action here:

the steps

The 14th Street Y and artist Anita Glesta are working in partnership to produce the artwork and its educational programming leading up to its May 17th-20th showing. The Senior Program Director of the 14th Street Y, Shayna Kreisler, is working with Y Program Directors and local partners (including the Lower East Side Ecology Center) to create hands-on programming that will enlighten and engage Y and East Village community members in why water ecology is important on a local, as well as global, scale. Programs will occur in the Y’s Afterschool and Preschool programming for youth ages 2-12.

why we're doing it

New Yorkers seldom consider our physical vulnerability on the group of islands that we inhabit, a vulnerability that is increasing as a result of climate change. Nevertheless, weather everywhere, even in Manhattan, has grown more extreme and erratic over the past decade, something many attribute to global warming. In light of the recent evacuation of Lower Manhattan this past summer with the Hurricane that never happened, the work has particular resonance, serving as a wake-up call for urbanites who don’t think that climate change can affect them.

Highlighting this significant historic relationship of the island of Manhattan to its surrounding body of water, viewers will be reminded of their personal vulnerability in the urban environment, as well as the vulnerability of all species and creatures on the planet in light of global warming.

Water is the lifeblood of our planet. It is fundamental to the biochemistry of all living organisms. The Earth’s ecosystems are linked and maintained by water; it drives plant growth and provides a permanent habitat for many species, including some 8,500 species of fish, and a breeding ground or temporary home for others, such as most of the world’s 4,200 species of amphibians and reptiles described so far. These ecosystems offer environmental security to humankind by providing goods, such as fish, plants for food and medicines and timber products, services, such as flood protection and water quality improvement, and biodiversity.

With the development of the Croton and Catskill/Delaware systems, New York City’s water quality was one of the highest in the nation. However, with increased pressures from both agriculture and urban growth water quality has begun to decline and the potential for contamination has increased. Evidence of decline can be seen in the ever increasing numbers of alerts to boil water over the past five years. Non-point pollution from runoff and wastewater discharge from treatment plants has resulted in increasing microbial pathogen counts and greater nutrient enrichment in the water supply. While the greater problems have occurred in water coming from the Croton watershed, a similar pattern of decline is starting to emerge in the Catskill/Delaware system. (source: http://www.epa.gov/esd/land-sci/ny.htm)
From the NY Times:

“About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.

If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.

By far the most vulnerable state is Florida, the new analysis found, with roughly half of the nation’s at-risk population living near the coast on the porous, low-lying limestone shelf that constitutes much of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable, researchers found, and virtually the entire American coastline is at some degree of risk.

Only in a handful of places have modest steps been taken to prepare. New York City is one: Pumps at some sewage stations have been raised to higher elevations, and the city government has undertaken extensive planning. But the city — including substantial sections of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island — remains vulnerable, as do large parts of Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey.” (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/science/earth/study-rising-sea-levels-a-risk-to-coastal-states.html?scp=1&sq=flooding&st=cse)

Conversation

TEDxDumbo is currently seeking people with urban-based projects to present an ‘Action Pitch’ at the event, and we were wondering if you might be in town and would want to pitch about Watershed. More details can be found at http://tedxdumbo.com/action-pitches/ Regards, The TEDxDumbo Team

budget

Project materials (AV Equipment, installation, paper, art supplies for projects with students and community members): $5000; Partner Fees (LES Ecology Center, Solar One, Hazon): $1500; Marketing (invitations, posters, ads, press agent): $1000;

Greening grant already received = $1500

project total = $6000
3% third party credit card processing fee = $180
ioby materials and labor = $35
total to fundraise = $6215

updates

Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.

photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • Erin B.
  • Shayna K.
  • Erin B.