This summer, beat the heat and learn something new by heading to the water for one of NYC Audubon’s EcoCruises. Guests can board a chartered New York Water Taxi each Sunday from Pier 11 at 7pm, and get to know the thousands of local herons, egrets, and ibises that nest in our harbors. Lead by an Audubon guide, the EcoCruises promise to reveal our city’s surprising nature, while providing spectacular sunset views.
Most of us may live on the big island of Manhattan, but the Big Apple is actually an archipelago and the city’s rivers are dotted with islands of all sizes. Some of them house jails, condos, or former smallpox hospitals, but most are inhabited only by birds. It may be hard to believe that thousands of these birds, other than pigeons of course, live so close to us, but this cruise will bring even the toughest New Yorker in tune with nature.
Deploying on the East River, the cruise combines bird watching with a bit of much-loved New York history, centered mostly around the harbor. You’ll learn things like the fact that the East River really isn’t a river, but a tidal estuary. A tour of the little known islands is next, circling an island called U-Thant, the Brother Islands and Mills Rock. Each is home to various species, even owls!
The EcoCruise, aside from being a serene way to enjoy the city, also calls attention to the age old man versus nature- and how, despite the extremely polluted East River, nature has adapted and the ecosystem is still thriving.
The cruises are $35 for adults, and $25 for children under twelve, and depart from South Street Seaport Pier 17 on Sundays at 7pm. Registration is required.