Hudson River Park has prioritized fostering and sponsoring inclusive community science that increase knowledge of the Park’s Sanctuary. Accessible science that engages community members from diverse backgrounds, and with different interests and abilities not only expands the Park’s reach and research, but also teaches scientific skills, elevates Estuary awareness and builds stewardship.
To date, public participation has helped the Park advance research initiatives on topics including pathogen monitoring, shoreline plastics surveys and oyster restoration. In 2019, the Park engaged over 2,000 park visitors in River Sanctuary monitoring projects. Community Ecopaddle and Shell-ebrate Oysters have become two popular community science programs; participants help monitor oyster enhancements deployed in the Pier 32 pile field to better understand oyster growth and recruitment rates as well as the viability of this restoration technique.
This summer, the public can also join Park naturalists virtually through monthly Backyard BioBlitz events to catalog and photograph wildlife throughout the Park. These projects and more empower community scientists to support the health and future of our River Sanctuary!