NOAA's Response and Restoration Blog

An inside look at the science of cleaning up and fixing the mess of marine pollution

NOAA at Submerge NYC Marine Science Festival

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Children gathered around a tub with water.

NOAA’s eel ladder demonstration is one of the highlights of Submerge! Last year, thousands of visitors stopped by to meet live eels and learn how NOAA’s Damage Assessment Remediation and Restoration Program works to restore access so these animals can reach habitat upstream of man-made barriers in rivers and streams. Image credit: NOAA.

Have you ever wanted to see an eel climb a ladder? Or explore a research vessel?  How about learning to fish or watch a scuba diver?  And did you ever think you could do all that in New York City?

Well, you can do all that and more with NOAA scientists and other experts at the Submerge NYC Marine Science Festival on Saturday, Sept. 16. This is the fourth year that Hudson River Park will host the event.

The free daylong science festival brings together researchers and scientists to talk to people about marine life and conservation. NOAA scientists from our Damage Assessment and Restoration Program and Marine Debris Program, as well as the Northeast Fisheries Science Center will be on hand to explain our work protecting the coastal environment from hazardous waste, oil, and marine debris and restoring habitat and biota.

Children handle horseshoe crab shell.

At NOAA’s Research Station, scientists from our Office of Response and Restoration and our Fisheries Service describe their work assessing natural resource injuries, reducing marine debris, and restoring habitat for the many marine and estuarine species that call the New York Harbor home. Image credit: NOAA.

A brief power outage at last year’s event stopped the water pump that supplied an attractant water flow for our popular eel ladder. Rather than shut down the display, we asked the public to help by manually using buckets of water to simulate the river flow. The eels did not disappoint. They showed off their climbing skills, which allow them to navigate around and over natural obstacles that would be barriers to other fish species.

“The loss of power turned into an even more engaging interactive demonstration as the public eagerly played the role of the river to maintain flow and operation of the eel ladder,” said NOAA Regional Resource Coordinator Lisa Rosman. “Many visitors were also excited by the opportunity to briefly hold or touch an eel.”

Activities at th​is year’s ​science festival will include:

  • Discovery Lab
  • Vessel Tours
  • Big City Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Live Scuba Dives
  • River Ranger Kid Zones
  • Research Stations

You can find our booth in the Research Stations section of the festival along with other science organizations sharing current marine research.

The Submerge NYC Marine Science Festival is Saturday, Sept.16 from 11am-4pm at Pier 26 at N. Moore St. in Lower Manhattan.

Author: Office of Response and Restoration

The National Ocean Service's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) provides scientific solutions for marine pollution. A part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), OR&R is a center of expertise in preparing for, evaluating, and responding to threats to coastal environments. These threats could be oil and chemical spills, releases from hazardous waste sites, or marine debris.

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