December News from CURB - 2022 Year in Review
Pictured above - Blue Team students presenting during the 2022 Summer Riverfront Environmental Day.

“Without the opportunities CURB gave me, I would have probably never discovered my love for the environment so early on or even my love for bettering Yonkers. I will always hold CURB dear and near to my heart. I will continue to take the skills I learned and apply it to my sophomore year of college and beyond.”

- 2020 Blue Team Graduate

Over the past 4 years CURB has worked hard to create a suite of new intensive education and paid research programs for high school students. Receiving positive feedback like this from former students makes it all worthwhile!

Next year we will continue our successful Winter Water Academy training program and Blue Team summer internship, while adding a new team to the Rising TIDES (Training Innovative and Diverse Environmental Scientists) initiative. The EELS Team will focus on Hudson River ecological research, with all students receiving 1 college credit for taking our Summer Hudson River Ecology Course, followed by paid after school research during the academic year.

Whether it’s training high school students in ecology and laboratory skills, researching water pollution sources or tracking eels, developing teachers’ capacity for environmental education, or hosting stewardship events for the community, our goal is to spark an appreciation for our rivers and a desire for life-long learning and stewardship.

As outlined in the Highlights and Accomplishments below, we had a great year of programming and look forward to exciting things to come in 2023. These will include those noted above, the long-awaited full return of spring and fall field trips, innovative qPCR research with SLC faculty, and working internally to understand the underrepresentation of diverse people in the environmental field and examining action steps to ensure accessibility of opportunities at CURB.

The New Year looks bright and we hope to see you at CURB soon!
- Ryan Palmer, Director of CURB
2022 Highlights and Accomplishments
EELS: Tracked 3,571 migrating glass eels, a new record for our site, with the help of 35 volunteers and interns. In nine years of sampling we have now counted 13,484 glass eels passing through our tidal marsh on their way up the Hudson River.
SEINING: Nearly 10,000 animals representing 33 species were caught, counted, and released. First-time catches included emerald shiner, spot, spottail shiner, tautog, and blackcheek tonguefish—only the third ever caught in the Hudson River.

WATER QUALITY: A dozen community scientists collected over 200 samples from 17 sites along the Saw Mill and Hudson rivers to be analyzed for fecal indicator bacteria with results shared biweekly with over 200 community stakeholders. We also launched a fecal bacteria source tracking study utilizing qPCR with SLC faculty member Dr. Michelle Hersh.
RETURN TO IN-PERSON FIELD TRIPS: After over two years with limited in‑person field trips, we were able to host more than 600 students. This fall we were fully booked, with eager school groups ready to get back to CURB, and spring 2023 is filling up fast too.
YONKERS BLUE TEAM: Ten Yonkers High School students and two Blue Team graduates spent six weeks at CURB for a paid summer internship focused on water quality in the Hudson and community outreach, capped off with an outreach event that drew 150 residents to CURB.

TEACHING TEACHERS: With the Child Development Institute, CURB revamped our long-running Teaching the Environment program and piloted the updated curriculum with guest speakers from Lenape Center, Watershed Agricultural Council, and Billion Oyster Project, to name a few.
SUMMER PROGRAMS: With support from Domino Sugar and the City of Yonkers, we hosted Yonkers community- based groups for free field trips this summer including a special seven-week garden-focused program with the Lanza Learning Center.
SPECIAL EVENTS: Many in-person weekend programs returned this year like Great Hudson River Fish Count, World Fish Migration Day, Tour de Yonkers, Yonkers Arts Weekend, Day in the Life Training, Riverfest, and a new summer kickoff event with Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club.

Approximately 150 volunteers and 30 Sarah Lawrence students contributed 2,500 hours of service including group projects with the Art of Teaching Program, Avenues The World School, Atomyze, Mastercard, Regeneron, Eagle Scouts, and the 9/11 Day of Service.
About CURB
Launched June 2013, the Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB) is an alliance of Sarah Lawrence College and Beczak Environmental Education Center. The mission of CURB is to advance environmental knowledge and stewardship by providing high quality K-12 environmental education for the local community, establishing a regional hub for research and monitoring focused on Hudson River estuary and urban watershed issues, and serving as a welcoming open community space for a variety of civic and cultural activities.
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