On August 7, 2023, the City University of New Remote Sensing Earth System Institute York High School Initiative in Remote Sensing of the Earth Systems Engineering and Sciences (CUNY CREST HIRES) & Summer Bridge and CUNY City College of Technology National Science Foundation (NSF) Undergraduate Research Program (REU) & NSF IUSE summer interns attended the 2nd Annual Environmental Justice Tour hosted by the U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.-13) in conjunction with the Bronx and Harlem River Watersheds, Urban Waters Federal Partnership, Harlem River Working Group, Bronx Council for Environmental Quality, Hudson River Foundation, and WE ACT. 

Goup picture post the boat tour 

The purpose of the tour was to provide an update on projects discussed during last year’s environmental justice tour and to assess the needs of the Manhattan and Bronx sides of the Harlem River with the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. On the themes – air quality, water quality, land use, and transportation. 

Summer Interns and CUNY CREST HIRES Team with Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.-13) 

The boat tour began with opening remarks from Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.-13) followed by remarks from various State, City, and nonprofit representatives. CUNY CREST HIRES Director, Dr. Shakila Merchant was one of the speakers. She elaborated on the CUNY CREST HIRES program and the research that interns have been doing to support the initiative. Other speakers included Javier Laureano (Environmental Protection Agency), Stephen Terraccino (United States Geological Survey), Rob Pirani (NYNJ Harbor & Estuary Program).  During the tour, the boat passed the Amtrak Bridge, Spuyten Duyvil Shorefront Park, Henry Hudson Bridge, Inwood Hill Park, and the Muscota Marsh Restoration. The event concluded with a press-conference post the boat’s debarking. 

Interns were deeply engaged in the tour. CUNY CREST HIRES Intern, Benjamin Kreitzer curiously interacted with Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.-13) to understand how long it will take for the greenways to be implemented and how the greenways will be able to affect the communities. 

The event was covered by CBS New York. View coverage here.