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‘Respect’ campaign promoting environmental awareness, safety at Rockaway and Jamaica Bay returns

Respect campaign returns for the third year to the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay. (Photo courtesy of Respect campaign)

The “Respect” campaign meant to promote water safety and raise awareness about people’s impact on the coastal ecosystems and communities of Rockaway and Jamaica Bay is back for the third year.

Surfrider Foundation NYC and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Park Conservancy (JBRPC) teamed up again for the campaign, which consists of action-oriented messaging on posters written in both English and Spanish. Expressive rippling type and a colorful palette with the phrases “Protect the Beach,” “It’s Their Home” and “Keep it Clean” are posted onto boardwalk fences.

Some new additions this year include “Protect the Bay,” “Talk Some Trash” and “Don’t Swim Alone.”

Shanna Blanchard, the director of strategic partnerships and projects of JBRPC, said there is a need to work together to protect these “special places,” even with limited resources.

(Photo courtesy of Respect campaign)

“We hope the Respect campaign encourages New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy these places while also being respectful of neighboring communities and the unique plants and wildlife that call these parks and shores home,” she said.

New Yorkers and visitors can see the campaign throughout the summer in multiple locations: across the entire NYC Ferry fleet, along the Rockaway boardwalk and throughout Rockaway-based NYC Parks, and in parks in the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.

(Photo courtesy of Respect campaign)

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation opened 22 beaches, pools and spraygrounds across the state for swimming on Memorial Day weekend. Those areas returned to normal operating capacity.

According to authorities, that has created substantial challenges when it comes to managing the levels of trash and debris, limiting the effects of human activities on local flora and fauna and avoiding water-related incidents that cost lives each year.

“We believe that we have a responsibility to protect our natural resources, just as much as we have the right to enjoy them,” said Chair of Surfrider NYC Nikita Scott. “If New Yorkers come together to be mindful of these issues and adopt positive behaviors, our beaches and communities will thrive.”

(Photo courtesy of Respect campaign)

The core mission of Surfrider Foundation and JBRPC is to protect New York City’s beaches, shorelines and natural areas in Jamaica Bay and Rockaway. The collaboration strives to keep shorelines clean and healthy while keeping people safe.

Respect Rockaway and Respect Jamaica Bay messaging serve as powerful reminders to people to make a dedicated effort to protect and respect the community, natural resources and themselves through environmental stewardship and responsible action.

Selman, a creative studio based in New York City with ties to the Rockaway, created the colorful palettes that intend to engage local communities and all New Yorkers to create a positive impact on Jamaica Bay and Rockaway beyond the summer.

Johnny Selman, the founder of Selman, said the identity and messaging system reflects the voice of the Rockaway community and embodies the campaign mission in a “bright and engaging way.”

(Photo courtesy of Respect campaign)
(Photo courtesy of Respect campaign)

“It’s all about how small acts of respect have a much larger impact. By respecting Rockaway, you’re respecting the community, the environment and yourself,” Selman said.

Surfrider NYC and the JBRPC are also collaborating with local businesses, elected officials and community groups to increase the campaign footprint along the Rockaway peninsula and throughout Jamaica Bay.

This call to action is further reinforced through community outreach and partnerships that take the campaign to a whole new level. A new collaboration with Rockaway Brewing Company will see a new beer dedicated to driving awareness of the campaign mission.

(Photo courtesy of Respect campaign)
(Photo courtesy of Respect campaign)

To access more information on these key issues and explore how you can do your part to respect Rockaway and Jamaica Bay, visit respect.nyc.

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