Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers
Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers is the primary environmental organization working to preserve and protect Jamaica Bay in Long Island, NY, just south of JFK Airport. Jamaica Bay is an amazing estuary of national significance with over 25,000 acres of wetlands, shoreline and open waters and tributaries. Summarized perhaps best by former mayor Mike Bloomberg who called it "the most important natural resource lying within the boundaries of any major city in United States". The organization works to restore the wetlands, increase the water quality, return native species, such as oysters, to the bay, clean up and remove marine debris, and to protect the National Park for future generations. The nonprofit has worked with elected officials for over 20 years and because of their advocacy, hundreds of acres of new wetland preserves have been created. These wetlands sequester carbon, remove harmful nitrogen from the water and play host to hundreds of marine and bird species. Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers patrol the Bay waters daily noting locations of debris, bird and fish sightings, and to keep an eye on poaching that occurs and to report such activities.
Funding received from The Good Traveler will assist the organization in continued advocacy efforts, help to support daily operations of the marine and wetland divisions, and subsidize education-focuses activities. New materials such as tools and equipment will allow the organization to conduct: scuba operations to document the deep portions of the bay, surveillance and monitoring of the recently restored wetland areas, surveys for potential new restoration areas, and surveys of large marine debris items to GPS for their removal. Donations will also be put to good use for the organizations learning and volunteering sessions for school-aged children, which teach and show the importance of the coastal environment and of the wetlands.