We all know Kingsborough is located on a peninsula. We see the beautiful views each day when we come to campus. Do you know the names of the water bodies surrounding us? Their history? Their ecology? Their importance? This year at Eco-Festival, we will focus on one of those three water bodies, Jamaica Bay (the other two are Sheepshead Bay and the Atlantic Ocean). Jamaica Bay is an important ecosystem: it serves as a refuge to countless species of plants, birds, fish and invertebrates, but also plays a vital role in protecting our shorelines against further impacts of climate change.
This year, Kingsborough is honored to present a special keynote speaker. Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Fabien is an aquatic filmmaker and ocean environmentalist. He grew up in France and in the US (right here in Brooklyn!). He is founder of Plant a Fish, a nonprofit dedicated to the restoration of the world's water bodies through active community engagement and education. One of the projects he works on is collaborating with schools such as the NY Harbor School and the local community to plant oysters to reestablish a healthy population in the area. http://www.plantafish.org/
We will also have two other speakers. Dorothy Peteet is a paleoecologist and a senior researcher at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She takes core samples from marshes and bogs to study the ancient records left by fossil pollen. From this she reconstructs what landscapes looked like in the past, what plants were present and what the climate was like. http://membercentral.aaas.org/blogs/member-spotlight/profile-dorothy-peteet. Russell Burke is Associate Professor at Hofstra University. An ecologist, he studies Diamondback terrapins at Jamaica Bay as well as raccoons and other animals of the area. His talk Strange Times for Jamaica Bay Terrapins will discuss the status of diamondback terrapins in Jamaica Bay, which contains perhaps the largest population of terrapins on Long Island. He will also provide an overview of the biology and life history of this most interesting reptile. http://people.hofstra.edu/russell_l_burke/
We will have two film screenings this year. Daniel Henrick, author of Images of America: Jamaica Bay will give us a sneak preview of his upcoming film Jamaica Bay Lives! Dan is a native of Sunnyside, Queens. This documentary will focus on the history and current issues surrounding the Bay. A book signing will follow the screening. Emily Driscoll will host the screening of Shellshocked - Saving Oyster to Save Ourselves, a documentary that follows efforts to bring wild oysters back to NY Harbor to restore the waterways.
Special highlights include dancers from the Redhawk Native American Arts Council who will teach us about the history of the Canarsie tribe through music and dancing; an eco-cruise of Jamaica Bay aboard the Golden Sunshine; an art exhibit and book signing by Thomas F. Yezerski, author of a new children’s book called Meadowlands. Other highlights include faculty and student panels; a Share Fair where you can meet environmental organizations that work in our area; tours of Kingsborough’s Urban Farm and Aquarium; Camp PERRT; and Eco-Café, a night of music, fashion, and poetry by students.
Last and most important, students play a role in this year’s Eco-Festival. There will be three panels, a town-hall discussion, a round table and a poster session, all run by students. They are, not only the future of Kingsborough, but the stewards of Jamaica Bay.
Please join us for this exciting festival!
All campus-based events are free and open to the public.