As a longstanding member of the Greenpoint community, ExxonMobil seeks to make real and enduring contributions for the benefit of our families, colleagues and neighbors.
An Oyster Update!
The mission of the Billion Oyster Project is to restore oysters to New York waters through public education initiatives. It looked like Covid-19 was going to upset BOP’s plans this year, but through tenacity and creative planning, the BOP is on track to have its best year yet! A new partnership with Red Hook Terminals will allow BOP to increase its oyster restoration capacity by 500% by this Fall.
How ExxonMobil helps: The oyster shells used in the program begin their return to the water at local restaurants, where the shells are gathered and then delivered to the former Mobil facility in Brooklyn, NY. Our facility acts as a way station for collection and storage of the oyster shells prior to their being delivered to the Harbor School on Governor’s Island, where the shells are inoculated with juvenile oysters (called spat), and then finally placed into NY waters.
Cleaning our waters: Oysters are filter feeders and play a key role in water quality as well as attracting life. They earn their nickname as “ecosystem engineers” because biodiversity levels increase dramatically surrounding oyster reefs. Oyster reefs can help to protect New York City from storm damage—softening the blow of large waves, reducing flooding, and preventing erosion. Restoring oysters and reefs will, over time, restore the local marine ecosystem’s natural mechanisms for maintaining itself, resulting in cleaner water and greater biodiversity.
Environmental Education: The NY Harbor School, a maritime high-school located on Governors Island, is the flagship school of the Billion Oyster Project, and its students contribute to Billion Oyster Project as part of their Career and Technical Education (CTE) experience—growing oysters, designing and building oyster reef structures, diving to monitor reefs, operating boats, performing marine biology research, and more.
27 Million Oysters!
The mission of the Billion Oyster Project is to restore oysters to New York waters through public education initiatives. So far, BOP has restored 27,475,800 oysters to NY waters, and ExxonMobil congratulates the organization on its incredible success. The oyster shells used in the program begin their return to the water at local restaurants, where the shells are gathered and then delivered to the former Mobil facility in Brooklyn, NY. The facility acts as a way station for collection and storage of the oyster shells prior to their being delivered to the Harbor School on Governor’s Island, where the shells are inoculated with juvenile oysters (called spat), and then finally placed into NY waters.
Why Oysters? As explained on the BOP website, “oysters have a remarkable ability to filter nitrogen pollution from water as they eat. This is a heroic feat, because excessive nitrogen triggers algal blooms that deplete the water of oxygen and create “dead zones.”
Oysters play a key role in attracting life. They earn their nickname as “ecosystem engineers” because we see biodiversity levels increase dramatically surrounding oyster reefs.
Oyster reefs can help to protect New York City from storm damage—softening the blow of large waves, reducing flooding, and preventing erosion.
Restoring oysters and reefs will, over time, restore the local marine ecosystem’s natural mechanisms for maintaining itself, resulting in cleaner water and greater biodiversity.”
Environmental Education – The NY Harbor School, “a maritime high-school located on Governors Island, is the flagship school of the Billion Oyster Project, and its students contribute to Billion Oyster Project as part of their Career and Technical Education (CTE) experience—growing oysters, designing and building oyster reef structures, diving to monitor reefs, operating boats, performing marine biology research, and more.”
Ever have lunch with an Angel?
This year ExxonMobil once again supported the North Brooklyn Angels in their quest to alleviate food insecurity in our community. The first annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors luncheon, held at the Warsaw, sponsored by Broadway Stages, and supported by ExxonMobil, was a great success, raising over $130,000 for the Angels. At the luncheon, Borough President Eric Adams, restaurateur Josh Cohen, and Ana Oliviera, Marketing Executive for Investors Bank, were honored as Neighbors of the Year for their steadfast support of this important program.
Students from the Brownsville Culinary Community Center, whose mission is to address issues around food scarcity by offering healthy, accessible cuisine to neighborhood residents, prepared and served the delicious lunch. The Center offers a culinary training program designed to educate and inspire participants to excel in the food-service industry.
The funds raised at the luncheon will go a long way to helping the Angels achieve their goal of providing over 50,000 meals in North Brooklyn this year. ExxonMobil is proud to be a supporter of the Angels, and wish them the best of luck in attaining their worthy goal!
Angels in North Brooklyn
The North Brooklyn Angels are a volunteer-powered, hyper-local, grassroots non-profit organization that addresses hunger, poverty, homelessness and housing instability in North Brooklyn.
The Angelmobile, a mobile soup kitchen, serves hot lunches five days a week at various locations around the neighborhood. In addition to feeding people, the Angelmobile hosts, housing counsellors, healthcare advocates, and community representatives from local city council offices to assist local residents. The Angelmobile also distributes informative materials, flyers, clothes, books, toys, and personal care products to those in need.
The Angelmobile program is possible as a result of the generosity of volunteers and supporters including Mt. Carmel Parish, the Episcopal Ministries of Long Island and Norm and Elaine Brodsky. ExxonMobil is also a supporter of the North Brooklyn Angels, and we encourage our civic-minded neighbors to consider supporting this commendable community organization. If you would like more information about earning your wings as a North Brooklyn Angel, please visit www.northbrooklynangels.org.
Students Soar at Space Camp
The John Ericsson Magnet School for Environmental Engineering seeks to spark student interest in real world application of STEM principles through its Air and Space Science Club program. The year-long program provides students with the chance to explore space science and various aeronautics topics created by NASA. At the end of the year, students can attend a space camp where they share and expand on their interest in space science with other students their age from around the world. The Air and Space Science Club provides students with an outlet for their scientific curiosity as well as the opportunity to build relationships with like-minded peers.
This year, as part of its commitment to STEM education, Exxon Mobil sponsored 12 students from grades 6 – 8 to attend Cosmodome, a space science center in Montreal, Canada. The week-long, overnight space camp program is only one of five in the world. Cosmodome features NASA vehicle simulators and augmented gravity activities. It also serves as a space museum, housing one of two lunar rocks on display in Canada.
A student student experiencing the Multi-Axis Chair, an activity in which trainees attempt to perform mental tasks while being rolled around in three dimensions.
Pearls of the New York Harbor
When Henry Hudson sailed into the New York Harbor in 1609, the river that would eventually bear his name was home to 220,000 acres of thriving oyster reefs. Fast forward some 400 years to today when the harbor’s oyster population has been decimated from overharvesting and pollution. The Billion Oyster Project (BOP) aims to turn back the clock.
The local initiative, launched by the New York Harbor School and New York Harbor Foundation, intends to plant one billion oysters in the New York Harbor by 2030 to promote the importance of environmental restoration and protecting local marine ecosystems.
Why bring back the oysters?
Despite their small stature, oysters play a big role in restoring an entire ecosystem. A single adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, removing pollutants, algae and sediment from its environment. Their reefs also serve as homes for a significant number of underwater organisms.
To date, the initiative has restored 28 million oysters into New York’s harbor since its launch in 2014. By the end of the project the oysters will help filter the entire harbor, approximately 74 billion gallons of water every three days.
Restoration and education
All the oysters start their journey at ExxonMobil’s former Greenpoint refinery site, which is maintained by the company’s Environmental Services division in Brooklyn, NY. Students from Harbor School, one of several local schools supported by ExxonMobil, use the site to store and reuse oyster shells collected from restaurants. This not only saves the shells from filling up landfills, it reduces the number of trips for the BOP collection trucks.
Next, the oysters go to school. Students grow oyster larvae in their science labs to plant on the reused shells. Once matured, the oysters then are planted at various sites around the harbor. Harbor School and 60 other New York City public middle schools use the organisms in biology and ecology research projects, integrating BOP into STEM education.
Finally, the oysters finish their journey at the New York Harbor, where Harbor School students introduce and further monitor them in the reefs.
“People often say New Yorkers are too busy to care about the well-being of the New York Harbor,” said Murray Fisher, founder and president of New York Harbor Foundation, New York Harbor School and co-founder of the Billion Oyster Project. “But our project shows otherwise. We’ve successfully brought a community of advocates, partners and volunteers together to restore a billion oysters to New York Harbor.”
Harbor School students monitoring the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Oyster Reef with Nature Conservancy scientist Mike McCann.
ExxonMobil Supports Oyster Restoration
ExxonMobil is allowing the use of a section of the former Mobil refinery in Greenpoint to store oyster shells collected by students at Harbor School. The students are collecting the shells as part of the Billion Oyster project, which advocates for marine protection.
SeaPerch Students Dive into Science
ExxonMobil is proud to support students from MS 126 who are participating in the SeaPerch competition, a program that allows students to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle
SeaPerch Students Dive into Science
Greenpoint Dives Deep for Science
ExxonMobil’s Greenpoint Community Liaison Kevin Thompson participated in the 2015 USS Monitor Dive project – a celebration of the 40 th anniversary of the founding of the USS Monitor Sanctuary.
Analyzing Trash to Reduce Litter
ExxonMobil supports the efforts of the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance and Curb Your Litter to collect and analyze the trash in order litter to drive community outreach efforts to reduce litter in the park and surrounding city blocks.
ExxonMobil is a proud sponsor of the Groundswell Mural Program.
In an effort to improve the quality of life in the communities employees work and live, ExxonMobil sponsors Groundswell programs, which bring together artists, young people and community organizations to enhance the community aesthetically and by promoting social change and alternative perspectives.
ExxonMobil co-sponsors fundraiser for after school programs at IS 318
ExxonMobil and community partners including Broadway Stages, Town Square and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce worked with the makers of the document film “Brooklyn Castle” to host a fundraiser for the afterschool programs at IS 318.
PS 110 The Monitor School
With support from ExxonMobil and Broadway Stages, elementary school students at Greenpoint’s The Monitor School planted herbs with the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, helped install a hydroponic garden and learned about insects at The Botanical Garden.
ExxonMobil SYSTEM Program
Since 2010, ExxonMobil has supported the SYSTEM program, a six-week paid internship that immerses a select group of the area’s elite high school students in the four STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math). The SYSTEM program is a partnership of ExxonMobil, the Greenpoint YMCA, the NYU Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education and Broadway Stages.
Public School 110
A $30,000 grant from ExxonMobil allowed this school to stock its computer lab with new equipment.
U.S. Military Academy at West Point
In collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, ExxonMobil invites environmental engineering cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to the Greenpoint site for tours and presentations as part of a class on Solid and Hazardous Waste Treatment and Remediation Processes.
Cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point visit the Greenpoint site for a half-day of tours and presentations with field technicians. ExxonMobil and the New York Department of Conservation have hosted the cadets, all of whom are environmental engineering majors, since 2008.
ExxonMobil Adopts Greenpoint Library
As a part of Brooklyn Public Library’s Support Our Shelves fundraising campaign, ExxonMobil has “adopted” the Greenpoint Branch to ensure the library can continue to build its collection during these difficult economic times. ExxonMobil donated $10,000 to the Greenpoint branch to help buy books and ExxonMobil employees also volunteered their time for the library’s summer reading program.
Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at City College of New York
ExxonMobil is a proud sponsor of the Bernard Harris Science Camp. This camp is a free two week residential camp which offers innovative programs to enhance student knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math, while also fostering leadership and citizenship.
ExxonMobil’s involvement with the Greenpoint YMCA dates back to 1906, when John D. Rockfeller, Herbert Pratt and the Standard Oil Company contributed $100,000 to build the Greenpoint YMCA building on Meserole Avenue. Today, ExxonMobil continues to actively support the Greenpoint YMCA.
NYPD Auxiliary Police
Since 1991, ExxonMobil has donated more than $200,000 to the NYPD Auxiliary Police to support their work in the Greenpoint community, enabling them to purchase uniforms and necessary equipment that help contribute to their work assisting the police force.
Town Square Earth Day Festival
Every year ExxonMobil participates in the Greenpoint Earth Day Festival and SchoolFEST, family and neighborhood events planned by the Town Square. The event is an opportunity for ExxonMobil to meet and converse with community residents personally and explain the remediation process.
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
As an active participant in the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, ExxonMobil works to promote business and ensure that Brooklyn enjoys the benefits of a vibrant local economy.