“The idea for a new waterfront neighborhood on Manhattan’s lower west side with public parks as its centerpiece was an innovative vision that has become a vibrant community 50 years later.”

B.J. Jones

President & CEO

Marine Education for Schools

Battery Park City Authority’s offers a Marine Education Program for schools which receives praise from teachers and students alike for its hands-on approach to ecology, biology and environmental science. Close to 1,000 third through twelve grade students from the five boroughs participate in this program annually. It allows students to understand the history, geology and biodiversity of the Hudson River estuary and coastline. While the Hudson River and New York Bay were once too polluted to maintain their pre-industrial ecosystem, improvements in water quality have allowed the habitat to thrive once again. The Hudson now hosts over 150 species of fish and diverse marine life that can be experienced or observed from the Esplanade in Battery Park City Authority.

Schools are able to schedule a field trip to visit Battery Park City Authority’s Wagner Park and participate in a class that is designed specifically for them. This free program is open to all schools in the area on a first come, first serve basis.

The program is divided into three parts.

Introduction to the Hudson River Ecosystem –

  1. The discussion includes the following topics
  2. History, geology, and ecology of the Hudson River
  3. Environmental considerations affecting the Hudson River

Hands-on Catch and Release Fishing

Each student experiences fishing, from baiting the hook to landing a fish. Fish are placed in a salt water tank where they are identified and later released. All catches are recorded and some are weighed and measured. Barbless hooks are used to keep injuries to fish and anglers to a minimum.

Discussion and Classroom Extension

The discussion includes steps that students can follow to help keep rivers and waterways clean. A packet of follow-up material with suggested activities and classroom reading is given to teachers.

Educators interested in participating in this program should contact Battery Park City Authority’s Programming Department at 212-267-9700 x 370

Marine Education program at the Battery Park City Authority is made possible, in part, by a generous grant provided by the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation.