Sustainable Hudson Atlantic: Education From River to Harbor

Sustainable Hudson Atlantic fulfills Youth Arts New York’s mission to provide experiences in the arts, sciences and civil society that engage youth in building a peaceful and sustainable future.

Sustainable Hudson Atlantic will introduce interested high school students to the vast number of institutions, government agencies and citizen action groups in the Lower Hudson River New York Harbor bioregion that are improving the health and resiliency of the vulnerable Catskill NYC watershed.


Each Spring and Autumn Youth Arts New York/Hibakusha Stories offers sails on the Hudson River Clearwater Sloop for groups of 40 to 45 students. Sails depart from the Verplanck Dock, at the Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant 25 miles north of the Bronx. The sail is preceded by an in-school workshop on the nuclear fuel chain facilitated by Youth Arts educators. On board students will measure the effects of the plant on water temperature and learn how that affects the river’s aquaculture on a daily basis. They will learn about the potential catastrophic consequences of nuclear power and the status of the decommissioning of Indian Point.

There are many institutions, governmental offices, international agencies and citizen action groups in the Lower Hudson River/New York Harbor bioregion that are improving the health and resiliency of the vulnerable Catskill NYC watershed. These institutions inform educators about and engage youth in:

  • the ways we eat and farm

  • the natural wonders of the Hudson River and those who are defending it

  • Rowing, sailing and the revitalization of urban and rural waterways
  • nuclear energy and the guardianship of its radiological legacy
  • green job training

  • school and community greening

  • economic and environmental justice

  • living Eco-Machines
  • genetic conservation

  • resilient ways of living

Among those groups and institutions are:

Raritan Headwaters Association is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects water in our rivers, our streams, and our homes. Our vision is that everyone within our reach has access to safe, clean water that is swimmable, fishable, and above all, drinkable.

Clean Water Action works in New Jersey to protect water and health, from watershed to water tap. Our New Jersey campaigns focus on clean water for all, climate change, green energy, environmental justice, and zero waste.

New Jersey Water provided by Rutgers University & New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute

Fridays for the Future or FFF, is a youth-led and organized global climate strike movement that started in August, 2018, when 15 year-old Greta Thunberg began a school strike for climate.

Peace Boat US Founded in 2006, Peace Boat US works to build a culture of peace and sustainability around the world by connecting people across borders and creating opportunities for learning, advocacy and cooperation. Our main partner is the Japan-based NGO Peace Boat. Peace Boat US is based in the United Nations Plaza in NYC, across the street from the UN.

UN Goals: Clean Water & Sanitation The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater The centerpiece of Clearwater’s education program is the Sailing Classroom Program. The deck of a traditional sailing ship is a uniquely powerful platform for students to learn about the river’s natural wonders and cultural significance. For many this introduction to the Hudson River and environmental education can forge a connection with nature to last a lifetime. DUTCHESS COUNTY

Riverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. WESTCHESTER COUNTY

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is working to develop a culture of eating based on what farms need to grow to build healthy soil and a resilient ecosystem. In its quest to transform the way America eats and farms, they convene changemakers, train farmers, educate food citizens and develop agroecological farming practices. WESTCHESTER COUNTY

Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC) is a coalition of environmental, health and public policy organizations founded in 2001 to address the vulnerability of the nuclear reactors at Indian Point.  Over 20 million people live within 50 miles of the plant.  IPSEC’s concerns include both existing radiation releases and potential additional releases from either human error, aging infrastructure, or terrorism, and the flawed, unfixable evacuation plan. Their grassroots efforts have enlisted the support of hundreds of local, state and federal officials. Students will learn of the concept of Nuclear Guardianship, a citizen commitment to present and future generations to keep radioactive materials out of the biosphere. Recognizing the extreme damage these materials inflict on all life-forms and their genetic codes. WESTCHESTER COUNTY

Catskill NYC Watershed Educators’ Network provides links to information about the NYC Water System and its watershed, as well as other environmental topics to supplement and support field trips and classroom lessons. Some offer ideas for getting students actively involved in learning about water and the planet we all share. REGIONAL

Rocking the Boat empowers young people from the South Bronx to develop the self-confidence to set ambitious goals and gain the skills necessary to achieve them. Students work together to build wooden boats, learn to row, sail and restore local urban waterways, revitalizing their community while creating better lives for themselves. BRONX

Sustainable South Bronx works to address economic and environmental issues in the South Bronx – and throughout New York City – through a combination of green job training, community greening programs and social enterprise. BRONX

American Museum of Natural History Center for Conservation Genetics employs cutting-edge techniques in genetics, molecular biology, population biology, molecular ecology, and forensics to identify and ameliorate genetic threats to endangered species and to develop and support conservation strategies for retaining genetic diversity. Working closely with the AMNH Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC), the Molecular Systematics Laboratory (MSL), the Cullman Molecular Laboratory (CML), the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics (SICG), Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection (AMCC), and Museum Curators, ConGen uses the latest techniques in conservation biology to conduct critically important research and design conservation management plans. MANHATTAN

Solar One empowers learning and innovation that result in more sustainable and resilient urban environments. We change the way people think about energy, sustainability, and resilience by engaging and educating a diverse set of stakeholders and beneficiaries. Our programs help individuals and communities explore new ways of living and working that are more adaptive to a changing world. MANHATTAN

The Big U is a protective system around Manhattan, driven by the needs and concerns of its communities. Stretching from West 57th Street south to The Battery and up to East 42th Street, the Big U protects 10 continuous miles of low-lying geography that comprise an incredibly dense, vibrant, and vulnerable urban area. The proposed system not only shields the city against floods and stormwater; it provides social and environmental benefits to the community and an improved public realm. MANHATTAN

Billion Oyster Project is an ecosystem restoration and education project aimed at restoring one billion live oysters to New York Harbor and engaging hundreds of thousands of school children through restoration based STEM education programs. GOVERNORS ISLAND

Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation is a center for research and experimentation in contemporary culture. It will be the site of a Symposium on Civic Engagement that pairs students with members of civil society to learn about the role of individuals and groups in creating change and will facilitate small group exercises that result in actionable intelligence that students and teachers will bring back to their schools and communities. BROOKLYN

Tunza Youth Strategy, the UN Environmental Programme’s youth initiative.  The word “TUNZA” means “to treat with care or affection” in Kiswahili, a sub-regional language of Eastern Africa. Tunza is an initiative that is meant to develop activities in the areas of capacity building, environmental awareness and information exchange, with a vision to foster a generation of environmentally conscious citizens capable of positive action. UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS

Sustainable Hudson Atlantic

To schedule a guardianship sail:

Indian Point Reading Resources

2023 Indian Point Decommissioning Curriculum

Sustainable Hudson Atlantic fulfills Youth Arts New York’s mission to provide experiences in the arts and sciences that engage youth in building a peaceful and sustainable future.