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November 2010 Archives

You may have heard of the booze cruises in Sheepshead Bay, but now get ready for the teacher's version of the curriculum cruise, an adventurous way to "marinate" your kids. Your students will be immersed in the rich resources and history of New York Harbor once aboard the famous yellow Water Taxi. The National Park Service and the NY Harbor Conservancy joined forces to produce this floating classroom featuring National Park Rangers equipped with biofacts such as horseshoe crabs and diamondback turtle shells for participants to handle.

naturallyny1.JPGListen carefully: A pre-recorded narration by the city's most prestigious scientists, ecologists, authors, and educators (I had the honor of participating) will guide you past our city of islands -- Ellis, Liberty, Hoffman and Swinburne (just south of the Verrazano Bridge) -- Coney Island, and into Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a federally protected area comprising over 9,000 acres. 

Geologist Sidney Horenstein, from the American Museum of Natural History, will take you back millions of years to vast continental glaciers and describe how the narrows was formed just a mere 13 thousand years ago; authors John Waldman and Mark Kurlansky, respectively, discuss the richness of the harbor, the turbulence of the tides and the stratification of the Hudson, as well as the depiction of the oyster, once the size of dinner plates, and its role in New York. One oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day! NPS Ranger and avid birder David Taft will take you into the skies, searching for predatory Peregrine Falcons, perching upon our tallest bridges, stooping with speeds up to 200 miles per hour!

P1010873.JPGMarine science is so vital to our lives, and yet so underrepresented in our K-12 curriculum, both throughout the nation and in our city. Let's embrace the Ocean Literacy campaign for a smarter citizenship, infusing conservation ethics and local history, along with the sciences and the arts. "Naturally, New York" does it all!

In 1524 navigator Giovanni da Verrazano explored New York Harbor. Isn't it about time you did!

For more information on "Naturally, New York" Water Taxi spring trips, please contact:
    Lindsay Burtchell
    Development Manager
    Harbor Conservancy
    (212) 668-2776
    (917) 817-1237 [Cell]
    (212) 668-2896 [Fax]

Resources for your classroom:
• John Waldman. 1999. Heartbeats in the Muck. The Lyons Press.
• Mark Kurlansky. 2006. The Big Oyster. Ballantine Books.
• Stephen Stanne, R.Panetta, and B. Forist. 1996. The Hudson: An Illustrated Guide to the Living River. Rutgers University Press.

Ocean Literacy information:
www.nysmea.org  (NYS Marine Education Association)

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