S.W.I.M.’s most recent public meeting last week was a great success! The presentations were informative and extremely relevant to today’s most pressing water issues. Presentations included:
- Shino Tanikawa, a member of SWIM’s steering committee, and Executive Director of the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District, provided an overview of NYC’s current water quality issues, the City’s Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) process and the upcoming Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit.
- Beryl Thurman, Executive Director/President of the North Shore Waterfront Conservancy of Staten Island (NSWC) gave an illuminating presentation on the Shore Up initiative to build resiliency in Staten Island. Her presentation emphasized the urgency of protecting Staten Island’s Environmental Justice Communities from the impending threats of sea level rise, storm surges and climate change-related flooding. She pointed to the contradictory policies on wetlands protections and the resulting destruction of natural buffers and storm drainage ares; the overdevelopment of the shoreline; an aging stormwater infrastructure; and the risks posed by contaminated industrial sites located in the floodplain as some of the most pressing issues facing the Staten Island community today.
- Judith Weis, Professor Emerita at Rutgers, Department of Biological Sciences, provided a comprehensive overview of marine pollution. Her presentation was drawn from her most recently published book, Marine Pollution: What Everyone Needs to Know, in which she elaborates on the history and sources of pollution, the most common marine pollutants, and what can be done and what progress is being made to mitigate this pollution at local, national, and global levels. From algal blooms, to bioplastics, to climate change, the presentation was a call to action to address marine pollution in our daily lives and in our ongoing advocacy efforts.
After this great turnout, we feel invigorated by the energy and potential for public engagement in the months to come. Stay tuned for updates on our future public workshops.