Home > news > NCCOS, RETI Center Create Citizen Science Opportunity for Underrepresented Communities in NYC

NCCOS, RETI Center Create Citizen Science Opportunity for Underrepresented Communities in NYC

Published on: 03/15/2022
Research Area(s): Other Topics / Outreach
Primary Contact(s): Nia.Rene@noaa.gov
RETI Center’s Blue City barge in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY.

RETI Center’s Blue City barge in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY. Credit: RETI Center

NCCOS’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Network and the Resilience, Education, Training, and Innovation (RETI) Center have partnered to provide education on harmful algal blooms and their effects on shellfish and macroalgae aquaculture.

The RETI Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening coastal communities through resiliency focused on economic development. The Center works with young people from disadvantaged populations in New York City from kindergarten through graduate school to cultivate a mindset of environmental stewardship and adaptation to climate change.

The Center is developing BlueBlocks Gardens, floating ecosystems and platforms to explore how plants and biophilic structures can support marine life within the waterways of Upper New York Harbor.

The floating gardens will incorporate mussel, oyster, and kelp aquaculture systems, which local students from high school through graduate school will construct and monitor for harmful algal blooms. NCCOS environmental scientist Nia Rene is coordinating the citizen science effort to monitor water quality and phytoplankton species in and around the gardens.

NCCOS environmental scientist Nia Rene prepares equipment to sample phytoplankton and water quality at the RETI Center Blue City barge in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY.

NCCOS environmental scientist Nia Rene prepares equipment to sample phytoplankton and water quality at the RETI Center Blue City barge in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY. Credit: RETI Center.

Designer’s rendering of completed floating gardens at Blue City barge.

Designer’s rendering of completed floating gardens at Blue City barge. Credit: RETI Center.

 

Left: Jae Wendell from the RETI Center collects a phytoplankton sample from Gowanus Bay, New York. Right: Students from South Brooklyn High School use a microscope to identify phytoplankton in the sample.

Left: Jae Wendell from the RETI Center collects a phytoplankton sample from Gowanus Bay, New York. Right: Students from South Brooklyn High School use a microscope to identify phytoplankton in the sample. Credit: Nia Rene, NOAA.

 

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