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.
Environmental Studies student Brooklyn Flick ’24 shares her experience interning at Sustainable Westchester. “As I move forward in my college career, I have begun to desire a way to put into practice what I have been learning in my classes. Therefore, when the opportunity to work with a company called “Sustainable Westchester” in their Zero Waste division opened up, I knew it sounded exactly right; or Recycle Right as I was later told.”
The Environmental Studies and Science department is hosting a Fall Speaker Series on Environmental Science and Policy. Our kick-off event on September 29 is a virtual webinar by Dr. Susanne Moser about science-practice interaction and communication on climate change resilience.