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NOAA CESSRST Hosts Bronx & Harlem Rivers Urban Water Federal Partnership to Talk Collaboration

Posted on February 10, 2020

NOAA CESSRST Hosts Bronx & Harlem Rivers Urban Water Federal Partnership to Talk Collaboration

Representatives of the Bronx & Harlem Rivers Urban Water Federal Partnership (UWFP) met with NOAA CESSRST faculty, administrators and students February 6 at City College of New York. The meeting was held to enable the organizations to learn about one another’s capabilities and to explore potential opportunities to work together.

UWFP is a program that improves coordination among federal agencies to help urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, reconnect with their waterways. The Bronx & Harlem Rivers UWFP is one of 19 such partnerships around the country. It includes 31 federal, state and local government departments or agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Sara Powell, UWFP Program Ambassador, described several current issues the project is addressing. They include safe and equitable access to the waterways, protecting water quality, advancing creation of a Harlem River green way and dealing with the largest CSO (combined sewer outflow) in New York City.

Nelson Vaz, Warning and Coordination Meteorologist, and Nancy Furbush, Senior Service Hydrologist, with the National Weather Service (NWS/WFO, NY) office in Upton, NY, and NOAA CESSRST Associate Director Shakila Merchant and Senior Research Scientist Tarendra Lakhankar also gave presentations about their organizations’ activities and capabilities.

Also participating in discussions were: Irene Purdy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Pennsylvania - Delaware Estuary Program Coordinator / Urban Waters Regional Coordinator; Stephen Terracciano, Associate Director for Science with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Long Island office; Nicole Bartlett, NOAA Fisheries - North Atlantic Regional Collaboration Team (NART) Coordinator, David Radell, Scientific Operations Officer, NWS/WFO, NY, and Daniel Gurdak, ORISE Scientist, Project Coordination, USEPA, Region 2.

Following the presentations, participants held an open discussion on opportunities and ideas for future collaborations. They included: engaging CESSRST faculty, scientists and scientists on UWFP projects; engaging in new and or existing “actionable science” for community engagement, participation and awareness, and exploring new “citizen science” activities themed around weather, water and ecosystem services across human dimensions. The organizations plan to meet again to develop ideas into actionable programs.

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