The past month was busy for the Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society. Free public events included a hawk watch at Fort Tilden, two Raptoramas, and a pollinator festival.
The 5th Annual Monarch and Pollinator Festival took place on Saturday, September 24 at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Fort Tilden. About 80 people came out on a beautiful, sunny day and they were greeted by well over 100 monarch butterflies passing through on their way south to Mexico. The event also included presentations on Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) and other pollinators, such as bees and birds.
The festival was presented by the American Littoral Society, with NYC Audubon, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC), and Gateway National Recreation Area (Gateway NRA).
The Hawk Watch took place on Saturday, October 8 and witnessed a record number of Bald Eagle sightings (more than a dozen were counted). The event was a partnership program with NYC Audubon and the JBRPC.
About 200 people came out on Saturday, October 15 to meet rehabilitated owls, hawks, and eagles at the 5th Annual Jamaica Bay Raptorama. In addition to a live demonstration with these amazing raptors, attendees joined in walks with experts to get a look at hawk species flying south for the winter.
The star of the show was Augie, a Eurasian Eagle Owl. Augie was an orphaned baby owl that imprinted on people. Other attractions included a young Burrowing Owl and a magnificent adult Bald Eagle that was blind in one eye.
This festival was presented by the Littoral Society, with NYC Audubon, JBRPC, and Gateway NRA. Due to the popularity of the event, a second Raptorama was set for October 22 at Marine Park in Brooklyn.
On Monday Ocotber 17, students from Rachel Carson High School and IS303 took part in their first Resilient Schools Consortium (RiSC) field trip of the year. Students visited Coney Island Creek, where one group seined with Littoral Society staff - which included Northeast Chapter Director Alexandra Kanonik, Jamaica Bay Guardian Don Riepe, and the Society's Education Program Director Nicole Haines. Fish captured by the seine net were placed in tubs with bubblers so they could be identified before being safely returned to the water.
RiSC is a climate & resilience education program in New York City public middle and high schools. The program is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, and managed by the National Wildlife Foundation.
The Littoral Society's Jamaica Bay crew will cap the month with the annual Hallo-Clean event Saturday, October 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Organized by the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, the Littoral Society, The Heart Of Rockaway, and JBRPC, the event will bring people together to help clean up Rockaway Beach. Costumes are optional but strongly encouraged. Community service certificates will be available. To take part, meet at 8400 Shore Front Parkway Queens.
Hallo-Clean is just one of many events that are part of the Littoral Society's New York State Beach Cleanup (NYSBC), which kicked off on September 17 - which was International Coastal Cleanup Day - with a Jamaica Bay outing hosted by Resorts World NYC. That cleanup was also supported by volunteers from ConEdison and Abuela Neighborhood Maintenance.
On September 17, alone there were 53 scheduled cleanups involving 1,500 volunteers. More than 100 have been coordinated by NYSBC to date and cleanups are still being scheduled across New York. Final tallies for collected trash will be available at the end of November.