Water Futures Lecture: An Ecological History of the Bushwick Inlet and its Environment.

With the continued development of Williamsburg and Greenpoint along the East River shore, it’s hard to imagine that Brooklyn was once a thriving wetland, with winding streams carrying freshwater running right below our feet.

Dr. Eric Sanderson, Senior Conservation Ecologist and author of Mannahatta:  A Natural History of New York City,  discussed his latest research on the historical ecology of western Long Island, centering on the Bushwick Inlet.  Using a series of maps and visualizations, Sanderson showed us the historical waterways and ecosystems that have been rendered invisible by urbanization, offering us a new way of understanding of our neighborhood’s ecology as we plan for the future.

An introduction was made by Ward Dennis, a founding member of Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park.

This discussion was presented in partnership with Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, NYC H20, North Brooklyn Boat Club, and Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund.

ABOUT WATER FUTURES

Water Futures addresses and explores the global and local drinking water crisis and asks: “How can design help address this in the future?” Our third and final season of programming, “Drink Local,” examines how designers can help reimagine ways to deliver water in cities as an alternative to single-use plastic bottles.

ABOUT ERIC SANDERSON

Dr. Eric Sanderson, Senior Conservation Ecologist

Eric W. Sanderson works to build a more sustainable relationship between people and the rest of nature.  He is a TED Speaker and the author of Mannahatta:  A Natural History of New York City, Terra Nova:  The New World after Oil, Cars, and Suburbs and editor of several scientific volumes, including the recent Prospects for Resilience:  Insights from New York City's Jamaica Bay.  He is currently working on the Welikia Project about the historical ecology of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.  He is also the co-inventor of Visionmaker.nyc, a free online ecological democracy tool encouraging New Yorkers to imagine, evaluate and share visions of the future.

ABOUT FRIENDS OF BUSHWICK INLET PARK (FBIP)

Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park is a volunteer organization dedicated to realizing, protecting and serving Bushwick Inlet Park. Representing and advocating on behalf of the local community FBIP works alongside the NYC Parks Department and Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn in the development of Bushwick Inlet Park as well as activation, education and programming. The New York City park system relies on Friends Groups, Conservancies and Alliance Groups for fundraising and volunteer efforts.