By Stephen Witt
The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy (UDEC) offers a number of summer programs for area youths, who want to become more involved in estuary activities. Peer to Peer Environmental Educator Training Program: Participants receive extensive training in marine environment conservation, boat safety and operations, basic boat maintenance, CPR/First Aid, basic watermanship, scuba technology, and may qualify to work as assistant environmental educator in UDEC’s city wide summer youth and afterschool program, and receive a stipend. Participants also have the opportunity to compete for a scuba training scholarship. Participate in annual Underwater Basketball Expo Game and Explore Scuba. Program runs in the summer as a summer youth program and the fall/winter as an afterschool program. Environmental Youth Intern Program: A one year paid internship program, where participants receive extensive training and participate in various aspect of UDEC activities and receive a stipend. Fall thru summer. Urban Marine Explorers/EnviroMedia (July only): Participants receive training in marine conservation, boat safety and operations, scuba technology, swimming and watermanship and participate in frequent boat trips to various sites along NY/NJ Harbor Estuary and work along site trained staff educators, citizens monitors, stewards and project scientists and participate in fun scientific exploration and discovery activities. They also learn basic video production and documentary script writing. Participants engage in a community service project and produce a video about an environmental issue learned through the course of the program. Teachers Training Workshops (September only): A water-based marine environmental education program for middle and high school teachers. Register today. F.I.S.H. (min. age 9): For younger kids. Field trips along the shores at Valentino Piers. Participants learn about the creatures that live in the harbor while fishing at the piers, collect and examine specimen from fish traps. All participants are engaged in fun and hands-on water quality sampling to check the health of the estuary. Through a live underwater video transmission, participants explore the nooks and crevices that provide a wonderful habitat and hiding place for fish to live. Participants are also offered a bussed field trip to two nature centers, including UDEC’s Satellite Harlem River Marine Station and Ecology Center to visit a series of estuariums, which are representative of the local marine habitats. These Youth Environmental Education Through Recreation programs are currently offered only at Gowanus/Redhook Satellite Marine Station and Harlem River and Hudson River North Satellite Marine Station. For more info and availability of programs, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 718-802-9874, 718-901-3331. It used to be that giving your child a cell phone to take to school provided comfort and relief, knowing that with a quick dial contact could be made. Not anymore. Now the cell phone has become what sneakers were in the ‘80s and ‘90s – an item to be stolen. “Cell phone theft is the biggest problem I have now,” said Inspector Richard Boyce at the recent 67th Precinct Community Council meeting. “It’s usually juvenile on juvenile crime. We recently arrested a kid at Meyer Levin Junior High School who had four stolen cell phones.” Boyce said that while a cell phone may not seem like a lot to steal in this day and age, it is the type of item that may breed jealously in juveniles that do not have them. This type of theft is one of the major reasons why robbery is up slightly for the year thus far, Boyce said. Crime prevention officer Malissie Reynolds said that while parents may think it is better that kids take cell phones to school for quicker access to communication, it actually makes their children easier targets for juvenile theft. This goes for iPods and Game Boys as well, said Reynolds. “We want them to go to school, be in school and get home safely,” said Reynolds. “For kids who don’t have these things, it’s a gold mine.” Reynolds said she believed in the rule her own mother laid down, which is if you did not buy one of these items for your child, they shouldn’t have one in their possession in the house. It’s important to know your child’s friends and their family as well, she said. Reynolds said another way to prevent juvenile on juvenile crime was to make sure that kids are dispersed quickly after school and get home or to where they are going as quickly as possible. The 67th Precinct has also extended their engraving of a identification number on such items as bicycles to include cell phones, iPods and Game Boys so when they are recovered after being stolen or lost they are easily returned to their proper owners. Reynolds also reminded people at the meeting that with the warm weather, residents need to make sure they lock their windows when going out. An open window is the equivalent of an open door, and a fire escape leading to an open window is an entrance into your home, she said. Reynolds added that light timers are also an important detriment to burglaries, and that knowing your neighbor, even if it’s only saying, ‘Good morning,’ or ‘Good evening,’ could be the difference in them calling 911 if they see something happening in your home. Finally, Reynolds reminded those in attendance that identity theft remains on the rise and that residents need to makes sure they discard all mail that may have their identification numbers on it in a way where it is totally destroyed. Many people already know all this, but repetition reinforces retention, she said. People interested in getting an identification number etched on their property can call the precinct at 287-3235 or 287-3236.