Greenpoint Gazette

Greenpoint Monitor Museum Participates in City of Water Day

BY Janice Lauletta-Weinmann

On Saturday, July 18, The Greenpoint Monitor Museum and Oliver Tilden Camp #26 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War participated in this year’s Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s City of Water Day as an “In Your Neighborhood Site” on the Museum’s land on the Bushwick Inlet, East River and Quay Street, at the launch site of the USS Monitor.

On a day that started with torrential rain followed by clouds and finally a hot sunny day, the Museum’s container served as a refuge from the elements. NOAA’s USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary’s recently unveiled USS Monitor Trail Marker was the centerpiece of the event. Also included for display were items covering the work of the USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and John Ericsson, the designer of the USS Monitor, and his work with steam and solar energy. Civil War artifacts were exhibited along with a solar cooker which provided hot Polish Kielbasa for all to enjoy. Civil War Music played throughout. Conceptual plans for future work on the Museum’s land were showcased, revealing a raised and restored living shoreline with a shared dock for NOAA’s research vessel and other visiting vessels and long awaited community waterfront access. The sitework discussions included the Museum’s and Greenpoint’s experience with Hurricane Sandy and the need to prepare for rising sea levels and possible future flooding.

As part of City of Water Day, $500 grants were awarded to 10 of the more than 50 “In Your Neighborhood Sites” under the Harbor Estuary Program. The Museum was honored to be one of the recipients of this grant.

Using the Museum’s land as a living example, the Museum’s project for this funding consists of models of various types of shore protection, including wetlands, gabion baskets, sheet pile, concrete walls and stone walls. The purpose of the display is to show the pros and cons of each type of shore protection with respect to the ability to foster a living shoreline.

The display also covers new regulations for future development to protect both our inland communities and our neighboring fish, bird and wildlife habitats. As the Museum’s site does not have electricity, a portion of the grant will be dedicated to obtaining a solar generator for demonstrating solar energy and providing electricity for both lighting purposes and project related slide shows. The solar generator will be quiet and will keep the site clean without the need to store fuel with a potential for spills along the waterfront.

Learn more about the Greenpoint Monitor Museum at http://greenpointmonitormuseum.org.

Janice Lauletta-Weinmann is the president of the Greenpoint Monitor Museum.

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