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Jamaica Bay BioBlitz, September 7 - 8, 2007

For additional 2007 BioBlitz information, visit the NPS Gateway BioBlitz Events site.

For 2009 BioBlitz information, visit the 2009 BioBlitz page.

For 2010 BioBlitz information, visit the 2010 BioBlitz page.

BioBlitz graphic - click to download flyer

Gillian Stewart and John Waldman of Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY), along with the National Park Service (NPS) and Gateway Research Learning Center (previously the Jamaica Bay Institute), organized a Bioblitz of Jamaica Bay from 3pm Friday, September 7th through 3pm Saturday, September 8th 2007. Briefly, a Bioblitz is a 24 hour event aimed at cataloguing the diversity of organisms in a particular area. This Bioblitz was part contest (racing against the 24 hour clock), part educational event, and part scientific endeavor. We hope it increased the public’s awareness of the diversity of their own “backyard,” while highlighting the need to protect sensitive ecosystems like Jamaica Bay.

View of NYC across Jamaica BayJamaica Bay has been protected since 1972 with the formation of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Because of its unique location and rich resources, Jamaica Bay provides habitat for many terrestrial, marine, estuarine, and migratory organisms including approximately 200 species of special emphasis or protection. This event was an opportunity to show that biodiversity flourishes in a highly-impacted urban park. Unfortunately, for example, about 49 of the 65 square kilometers of wetlands have been filled in or are disappearing, and the water quality of Jamaica Bay has been impacted by sewage treatment plants, JFK airport, and urban, commercial, and industrial development. This BioBlitz was an effort to highlight the involvement of Queens College and the CUNY system in local environmental action, develop and strengthen relationships with local and national scientific organizations, and provide both media and political coverage on the importance of biodiversity in mega-cities like New York City.

Media Coverage


  • Place
    The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center [directions] is the "Base Camp" where registration and all public activities will take place. Here we will have the scientist tent, tally board, and serve water and refreshments throughout the 24 hours. From here, groups will go out to survey various locations within Jamaica Bay (including wetlands, the Refuge, Floyd Bennett Field, and Fort Tilden)

  • thumbnail map of BioBlitz areas - click for larger map
  • Date & Time
    Friday September 7, 3:00pm - Saturday September 8, 3:00pm

  • Participants
    We will have a group of Experts in their fields to lead taxon groups, but we are looking for Amateur Naturalists and Volunteers to help with the surveys and registration. All Experts, Amateur Naturalists and Volunteers must register (see link below), and fill out appropriate waiver (individual or group), and permission (photo release, parental) forms. You need only bring the waiver and permission forms with you to the registration table at the "Base Camp" in order to participate in the BioBlitz.

    We encourage the public to take part in the Public Programs on Friday and Saturday. There will be events, guided tours, activities, touch tanks, and environmental groups doing outreach.

    At 3pm on Saturday, we will have closing ceremonies where we'll announce the final species count, hear descriptions of interesting findings, and have local prominent naturalists and elected representatives give short talks about the biodiversity in Jamaica Bay.

  • On-line registration is closed. You can still register by downloading the registration form [PDF] and emailing it to the contacts below, or bringing the form to the registration table at the "Base Camp". Those who registered via on-line registration submission will have their assignment listed in the Participant Survey Schedule posted in the next section. If you registered via emailing the registration form to the contacts below, check the Participant Survey Schedule daily for updated names and assignments. If you do not see your name listed, contact jbrmin@ciesin.columbia.edu.).

  • BioBlitz Products
    - Species List
    - Booklet

  • Agendas, Schedules, Programs
    - Participant Survey Schedule
    - Volunteer Schedule
    - Science Contacts
    - Participation Information
    - Field Data Sheet
    - Public Programs

  • Contact Information
    Gillian Stewart: gstewart@qc.cuny.edu
    Nancy Khan: nancy_khan@nps.gov
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