Coney Island Urban Waterfront Governance

Monica Palta, PhD, and Anne Toomey, PhD, assistant professors in the ESS department, teamed up on a project to investigate the social-ecological dynamics of urban waterfront governance along the Coney Island Creek in Brooklyn. The creek is currently the site of an active combined sewer outfall, which results in raw sewage and stormwater bypassing treatment plants and overflowing directly into the creek during storms.

Assistant Professor Palta is carrying out an ecological study of the creek, with a specific look at the extent and sources of nutrient pollution in the system, and whether filter feeders in the creek (mussels, oysters) are effectively removing this nutrient pollution.

Assistant Professor Toomey has been documenting the social-cultural uses and perceptions of the water quality of the creek. Various Pace students and alumni have been involved in this research, including Brielle Manzolillo ’17, Christina Thomas ‘19, Elaina Kovnat ‘20, and Tatyana Graham ‘21.

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Maddie Feaster is a Masters in Environmental Policy student at Pace University. She entered Pace’s program following her experience as a volunteer for Sound Watch in Friday Harbor, WA. Here she talks about her experiences working with Friends of San Juans and her upcoming internship with Hudson Riverkeeper for the Gabel Fellowship.

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