Up to 30 million gallons of spilled oil, more than 100 brownfields, 18 State Superfund sites, 19 waste transfer stations, 12+ registered point source air emissions facilities, 22 permitted combined sewer overflow pipes, the largest sewage treatment facility in New York City, and 2.7 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted stormwater annually. All of these things and more are in and around Greenpoint's Newtown Creek, according to the Newtown Creek Alliance.
Estimated (and please note, it is an estimation) by the gallons of paint it would take to cover the area, if the above illustration only shows the oil spill, then the billions of gallons of raw sewage alone would more than cover all of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Visualize the oil in cubic feet as gallons of water and the resulting illustration looks even more devastating.
As a Greenpoint resident for the past 9 years, I've long wanted to pool design, creative and non-profit resources to reinforce and further ignite environmental awareness and change in the community. And with the influx of new residents as the waterfront development begins and the neighborhood continues to be on the rise (literally), I've got a plan...
My team and I at work are preparing to explore a Creek-related side project over the course of the next year. The project will allow us to utilize data visualization, design and interactivity to build better community engagement around Newtown Creek and the environmental impact of pollution to the surrounding communities.
It has always been right in our backyard, but if our project is a success, we'll have a platform that will allow us to better see it, talk about it and create solutions together.