On Saturday, October 15th, 2011, the Human Impacts Institute set up in East River State Park of Williamsburg, Brooklyn as part of the annual Fall Harvest Festival. We offered open-to-the-public, free workshops on water quality testing, tree stewardship, and community action petitions.
The purpose of testing local water quality, such as for pH and nitrate levels, is to educate on the impacts of water use and pollution on water sources. Due to the parks location, the workshop had participants test the brackish water of the East River. While rivers such as the Hudson are freshwater, the East River–contrary to its name–is in fact a tidal strait and has nearly the same salinity as ocean water. Participants also learned of ways to care for local trees, which help to protect local waterways by absorbing runoff from buildings and streets.
Human Impacts Institute representatives also engaged community members in conversations about water quality concerns, upkeep of local trees, and we successfully spread the word for the causes of our MobilizeUS! campaign and for green space over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Participants included City Councilmember Stephen Levin and Democratic State Committeeman Lincoln Restler, as well as local youth, international tourists, educators, and community members.
Participants had the opportunity to take direct action at the event by ordering Free Water Conservation Kits from the NYC Department of Environmental Conservationand by signing the Human Impacts Institute’s petitions in support of:
Strong U.S. Environmental Leadership,
Top 10 Asks for the Global Environment, and
Clean Air and Green Space in Brooklyn!
Join us today by signing the above petitions and let our leaders know that healthy communities and a healthy environment are a priority to you!
By Melanie Sluyter, 2011 Human Impacts Institute Environmental Services Intern