Rebecca Boger and John Marra of Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY), along with the National Park Service (NPS) and Gateway Research Learning Center (previously the Jamaica Bay Institute), organized a Bioblitz of Jamaica Bay from 3pm Friday, September 11th through 3pm Saturday, September 12th 2009. Briefly, a Bioblitz is a 24 hour event aimed at cataloguing the diversity of organisms in a particular area. This Bioblitz was part contest (racing against the 24 hour clock), part educational event, and part scientific endeavor. We hope it increased the public’s awareness of the diversity of their own “backyard,” while highlighting the need to protect sensitive ecosystems like Jamaica Bay.
Jamaica Bay has been protected since 1972 with the formation of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Because of its unique location and rich resources, Jamaica Bay provides habitat for many terrestrial, marine, estuarine, and migratory organisms including approximately 200 species of special emphasis or protection. This event was an opportunity to show that biodiversity flourishes in a highly-impacted urban park. Unfortunately, for example, about 49 of the 65 square kilometers of wetlands have been filled in or are disappearing, and the water quality of Jamaica Bay has been impacted by sewage treatment plants, JFK airport, and urban, commercial, and industrial development. This BioBlitz was an effort to highlight the involvement of Brooklyn College and the CUNY system in local environmental action, develop and strengthen relationships with local and national scientific organizations, and provide both media and political coverage on the importance of biodiversity in mega-cities like New York City.
Participating Institutions & Organizations
The Ecology Village at Floyd Bennett Field [directions] is the "Base Camp" where registration and all public activities will take place. Here we will have the scientist tent, tally board, and serve water and refreshments throughout the 24 hours. From here, groups will go out to survey various locations within the Gateway National Recreation Area in the vicinity of Floyd Bennett Field.
- Date & Time
Friday September 11, 3:00pm - Saturday September 12, 3:00pm
We will have a group of Experts in their fields to lead taxon groups, but we are looking for Amateur Naturalists and Volunteers to help with the surveys and registration. All Experts, Amateur Naturalists and Volunteers must register by downloading the registration form [PDF] and emailing it to the contacts below, or bringing the form to the registration table at the "Base Camp". Also, you must fill out appropriate waiver (individual or group), and permission (photo release, parental) forms. You need only bring the waiver and permission forms with you to the registration table at the "Base Camp" in order to participate in the BioBlitz.
At 3pm on Saturday, we will have closing ceremonies where we'll announce the final species count and present descriptions of interesting findings.
- BioBlitz Products
- Species List
- Species Richness
- Agendas, Schedules, Programs
- Participant Survey Schedule
- Experts (Science Contacts)
- Participant Information
- FBF Land Cover Map
- Field Data Sheet
- Contact Information