Jason Smith, MS, MFA Director of Northern Manhattan Parks for the NY Restoration Project
Chester Zarnoch, PhD Professor CUNY, Dept. of Natural Science at Baruch College
Title: A Living Shoreline on the Harlem River: From Design Challenges to Ecosystem Services
Abstract: The Sherman Creek Living Shoreline is an intervention intended to adapt a coastal park in Northern Manhattan to the impacts of climate change while improving the ecosystem function of the shoreline. In the Spring of 2020 an artificial oyster reef will be installed in the Harlem River to alter sediment dynamics and facilitate the establishment of intertidal wetlands. As a collaboration between a non-profit, government agencies, and CUNY researchers, this project is an example of how to integrate collaborative research into the adaptation of urban public space. Ongoing research will assess the role of mussels in the success of wetland establishment, and evaluate changes to carbon storage and sediment gas fluxes. This work will demonstrate the potential of living shorelines to provide critical ecosystem services in eutrophic waters such as the Harlem River.
Jason Smith is the Director of Northern Manhattan Parks for the New York Restoration Project. In this capacity, he manages the stewardship of parkland and implements projects that enhance the resilience of northern Manhattan communities. Jason’s interests include ecological land management and nexus of design and conservation in cities. Prior to working at NYRP, Jason taught art and design at SUNY Buffalo and Canisius College. Jason received an MS from Brooklyn College in Earth and Environmental Science and an MFA in Visual Art from SUNY Buffalo. Jason’s experiences in construction, landscaping, art and education inform his approach to interdisciplinary urban research and practice.
Chester B. Zarnoch holds a Ph.D. in Biology and is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY) and is Graduate Faculty in the Biology Program at CUNY’s Graduate Center. He has been an active researcher in marine ecology and aquaculture since 2001 and has published papers on shellfish biology, sediment nitrogen cycling, and intensive aquaculture. His current research aims to describe the biological and physical processes that influence ecosystem services derived from restored habitats in eutrophic estuaries.