A LightHawk Story
Romeo November: A LightHawk Story shares the story of one volunteer pilot and his dedication to the cause of conservation as he takes to the skies to tour three conservation projects with LigthHawk partners. View now by clicking the image above or on LightHawk's YouTube channel, Facebook page or website.
Featured mission: Photographing Staten Island wetlands
The Coalition for Wetlands and Forests works to protect the Graniteville Wetland – the roughly triangular parcel of land prominent in this LightHawk image captured by J Henry Fair, Staten Island, New York City
In December, LightHawk volunteer pilot David Morrison flew a mission for the Coalition for Wetlands and Forests, a nonprofit organization on Staten Island in New York City. Their mission is to protect the Graniteville Wetland from commercial development.
Volunteer pilot David Morrison of Manhattan flew the mission in his Cessna 206, taking along New York City-based photographer J Henry Fair and Tyler Teba of the Waterfront Alliance – a nonprofit working to protect public access to waterfront areas.
The tugboat graveyard near the wetlands are a source of pollution. Photo by J. Henry Fair.
With sea levels on the rise and hurricanes becoming stronger, coastal wetlands play an important role in climate resilience by absorbing water during storm surges and heavy rain events, thereby helping to mitigate the worst effects of flooding on neighboring communities. They also provide important habitat for wildlife – particularly birds – in one of the most urbanized areas of the country. Additionally, they provide open spaces for people to enjoy. Their trees absorb carbon dioxide and help to improve air quality. For the first time, LightHawk was able to provide the Coalition
for Wetlands and Forests an aerial perspective of the area, for use in their informational materials.
The flight was also used to collect images of existing developments nearby which have historically been sources of pollution. These developments include oil refineries and the Tug Boat Graveyard. Together, the images show the story of an area with a heavy pollution legacy and little remaining undeveloped land. This highlights the importance of protecting the little that remains.
LightHawk volunteer pilot David Morrison and passengers before the flight to Staten Island. Photo by J Henry Fair.
After the flight, photographer J Henry Fair noted, “The filling of wetlands and development (an Amazon Warehouse) have been a disaster for nearby residents, causing flooding of houses and streets. These issues can only be seen from the air. Even the partner group Coalition for Wetlands and Forests did not have a clear understanding of the big picture. We were able to photograph and video the new warehouses, the remaining wetlands, and the toxic refineries polluting the area, which would not have been possible without the Lighthawk flight.”
Thank you to volunteer pilot David Morrison for making this flight happen. The information gathered will advance wetlands conservation efforts and provide valuable insight for scientists, conservation workers and elected officials.
LightHawk Photo of the Month
Photo by Mark Dedon
This month's photo is from a flight with The Nature Conservancy, and their partners at the Channel Islands National Park to help monitor their populations of island fox. LightHawk volunteer pilot Mark Dedon flew a radio telemetry mission and captured the photo during the flight. You can see the telemetry gear attached to the strut
of his plane in the photo.
Support LightHawk and make conservation fly!
LightHawk's mission is as important today as it has ever been. Working with partners across the country, we're bringing the gift of aviation to conservation issues. Thanks to LightHawk and its community of volunteer pilots, our conservation partners are able to accomplish more, in less time - preserving important resources. Your gift lifts our wings and brings success to projects sooner. You can make conservation fly!
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