Newtown Creek activists host watershed info seminars
by Andrew Shilling
Feb 19, 2014 | 4193 views | 0 0 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo taken from the Weather on the Watershed program last year.
Photo taken from the Weather on the Watershed program last year.
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When it rains, it pours in the communities surrounding the polluted industrial waters of the Newtown Creek.

In an effort to educate Queens and Brooklyn living in the Newtown Creek watershed, the Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA) is holding 10 public education seminars at library branches in Queens and Brooklyn.

Willis Elkins is one of two NCA representatives who will lead the “Weather on the Watershed” seminars in the group's second year teaming up with local libraries.

“This is about the water cycle in the city and is designed for all ages with an interactive component,” Elkins said. “This is about getting people more engaged in how the city infrastructure works and how that connects to the quality of the environment around them.”

The free seminars will also show how weather stations implemented at the libraries measure rainfall levels and notify the NCA when sink, bath and toilet water is dumped directly into the creek - known as a combined sewage overflow (CSO) - because the sewage system is overwhelmed,

“It’s education that anyone can understand and have a takeaway of how their infrastructure in the city impacts their quality,” he said. “If you don’t do a load of laundry when it’s raining, you’ll be helping out the quality of water in the city.”

Elkins explained the new weather stations are now linked up to a comprehensive alert system via Twitter, text or though weatherunderground.com. a project funded by the Hudson River Foundation and Deutsche Bank Foundation.

“It’s cool. You can go on there right now and look up certain dates and look up the rainfall and draft it out at different libraries,” he said. “Once there’s a rainfall we have a trigger point, and once rainfall hits that there’s a tenth-of-an-inch over, with data provided by the DEP, then the alert system is activated.”

To learn more about the Weather on the Watershed program, visit one of the many scheduled events at your local library beginning this Monday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. at the Greenpoint library at 107 Norman Ave.

For a full Weather on the Watershed schedule visit newtowncreekalliance.org.

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