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Reflecting Our Community: 2020 Conference of the
NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program


To view recordings of the conference sessions, click on the session titles below.

Our 2020 conference was focused on fostering better community engagement, highlighting the efforts of community leaders and other partners that are striving for more inclusive and equitable management of the Estuary and our waterfronts. The conference week included interactive sessions on fairer public access, community-led habitat restoration and water quality management, environmental justice, and advancing inclusiveness and diversity in the sciences and environmental professions.

 

Incorporating Community Voices in Park Planning and Design
Speakers: Chauncy Young, Scott Dvorak, Laurie Howard, John Veteri, Donna Kirkland, Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, Marit Larson, Leslie Wright

Working for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on the Board
Speakers: Dart Wespthal, Babette Baker

Setting BIPOC Students for Success for Environmental Careers: Overcoming Barriers and Ongoing Challenges
Speakers: Brigitte Griswold, Laurita Alomassor, Dr. Mary Leou, Robina Taliaferrow, Michelle A. Luebke

Small Scale/Small Budget Habitat Restoration
Speakers: Carl Alderson, Bart Chezar, Obed Fulcar, Willis Elkins, Nirmela Govinda

Reflecting on EJ Progress: A look on How the Environmental Justice Movement has Grown Over the Years and Where it’s Headed
Speakers: Kim Gaddy, Matthew Tejada, Chris Daggett, Peggy Shepard

A Message from Senator Cory Booker

Conference Introduction and Presentation on Changing Policy in Response to a Changing Climate
Speakers: Dr. Nicky Sheats, Annel Hernandez, Rob Pirani

Is it Safe for Me to Swim Here?: Communicating Effectively About Water Quality
Speakers: Rob Buchanan, Shelley Luce, Dan Shapley, Maya K. van Rossum, Shino Tanikawa

(Partnership Event) Representation Matters: Black and Brown Voices in New Jersey’s Environmental Community
Speakers: Olivia Glenn, Neha Savant, Naeema Campbell, Kandyce Perry, Debbie Mans

Everyone is invited: Fostering a Perse & Inclusive Climate in Organizational Events and Programming
Speakers: Amali Knobloch, Elizabeth Jaeger, Adi Nochur, Kellie Quiñones

The Sacrifice Zone: Film Panel Discussion
Speakers: Javier E. Laureano, PhD, Rosa Mendez, Ana Baptista, Riche Outlaw

Conference Introduction and Presentation on Changing Policy in Response to a Changing Climate (Audio en Español)
Speakers: Dr. Nicky Sheats, Annel Hernandez, Rob Pirani

Conference Introduction and Presentation on Changing Policy in Response to a Changing Climate: A Conversation Between Two Activists on The Impacts of Climate Change on Vulnerable CommunitiesDr. Nicky Sheats, Co-founder and President of New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and Annel Hernandez, Associate Director of New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, will explore how frontline environmental justice communities are impacted by climate change and the current strategies in place to help address these impacts, especially in waterfront neighborhoods.

(Partnership Event) Representation Matters: Black and Brown Voices in New Jersey’s Environmental Community
Speakers: Olivia Glenn, Neha Savant, Naeema Campbell, Kandyce Perry, Debbie Mans

A roundtable to address the organizational culture and under-representation of People of Color in New Jersey Environmental Non-Profit and Government Agencies. This will be a lively and open discussion with Ms. Glenn and a panel of guests. Hosted by: Rahway River Watershed Association, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, NJ Audubon, New Jersey Future, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, The Watershed Institute, The Greater Newark Conservancy, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program, ANJEC, PowerMarket, and twentytwenty public affairs.

The Sacrifice Zone: Addressing Disproportionate and Cumulative Impacts (Audio en Español)
Speakers: Javier E. Laureano, PhD, Rosa Mendez, Ana Baptista, Riche Outlaw

Panel discussion following the film screening. “The Sacrifice Zone” tells the story of how the Ironbound community in Newark is facing cumulative impacts from a variety of pollution sources. Following the film, a panel conversation with community, state and federal leaders will discuss how disproportionate impacts on environmental justice communities can be addressed going forward.

Working for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on the Board
Speakers: Dart Wespthal, Babette Baker

Directors, staff and current board members are welcome to learn about and discuss effective strategies for attracting and engaging a more diverse and inclusive board of directors at their non-profit organization in this workshop led by Dart Westphal, consultant at Support Center and Board Member at the Bronx Council for Enivironmental Quality.

Small Scale/Small Budget Habitat Restoration (Audio en Español)
Speakers: Carl Alderson, Bart Chezar, Obed Fulcar, Willis Elkins, Nirmela Govinda

Improving the habitat value of our Estuary’s shorelines and shallows is not just for the big agencies. This panel focuses on lessons learned in restoration within a small area or on small budget.

Is it Safe for Me to Swim Here?: Communicating Effectively About Water Quality (Audio en Español)
Speakers: Rob Buchanan, Shelley Luce, Dan Shapley, Maya K. van Rossum, Shino Tanikawa

Water quality affects everything that HEP and our partners strive for from safe on-water public recreation and increasing public access, to long-lasting public stewardship. This panel will explore efforts to communicate water quality to residents, supporting the safe use of the waterfront and water bodies, and challenging water quality uses to reflect on-water recreation by residents.

Everyone is invited: Fostering a Diverse & Inclusive Climate in Organizational Events and Programming (Audio en Español)
Speakers: Amali Knobloch, Elizabeth Jaeger, Adi Nochur, Kellie Quiñones

This session will explore how different organizations throughout the Estuary promote their programs and work to connect with diverse audiences, and include tips for successfully engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure everyone feels welcome.

Incorporating Community Voices and Priorities in Park Planning and Design (Audio en Español)
Speakers: Chauncy Young, Scott Dvorak, Laurie Howard, John Veteri, Donna Kirkland, Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, Marit Larson, Leslie Wright

Addressing community needs in new and revitalized waterfront parks is essential if we are to create public access that serves the diversity of the region. Park professionals and community representatives from around the estuary, including Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, NYC Parks; Chauncy Young, Bronx Council for Environmental Quality; Scott Dvorak and Donna Kirkland, The Trust for Public Land; and Laurie Howard, Passaic River Coalition will discuss what works and lessons learned from recently completed or improved waterfront parks and conservation areas.

Setting BIPOC Students for Success for Environmental Careers: Overcoming Barriers and Ongoing Challenges (Audio en Español)
Speakers: Brigitte Griswold, Laurita Alomassor, Dr. Mary Leou, Robina Taliaferrow, Michelle A. Luebke

There are a number of barriers that prevent black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) from environmental studies that would lead to future careers at our organizations. This panel will discuss efforts to engage BIPOC students in K-12 STEM programs and sponsor them in navigating environmental fields of study and careers.

Reflecting on EJ Progress: A look on How the Environmental Justice Movement has Grown Over the Years and Where it’s Headed (Audio en Español)
Speakers: Kim Gaddy, Matthew Tejada, Chris Daggett, Peggy Shepard

The Environmental Justice movement has made great strides since its inception. Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Organizer with Clean Water Action, We Act’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Peggy Shepard and Director of EPA’s National Environmental Justice Office, Matthew Tejada will speak on the EJ principles, policy and practices taking place on a national and local level. HEP Policy Committee Chair, Christopher Daggett will moderate this informative discussion.