Team members of the American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU) are about to have a lot of fun while helping New York City’s environment when they participate in an annual Volunteer Day with the New York Harbor School on Governors Island on August 30th. The team will be helping with the Billion Oyster Project, an initiative to add, you guessed it, a billion oysters to the New York Harbor water by 2035.
Oyster reefs once covered over 220,000 acres of the Hudson River estuary. They provided valuable ecosystem services to the region by filtering water and providing a habitat for other marine species. A single oyster can filter about 30 to 50 gallons of water every day. And New York City was virtually built from oysters. Many building projects depended on the mollusks’ shells for lime, and one could not walk down the street without tripping over an oyster vendor, the hot dog cart of its time.
Today, oysters are functionally extinct in the Harbor due to over-harvesting, dredging, and pollution. The Billion Oyster Project is working to change that, with over 25 million oysters already planted in the harbor and 800,000 pounds of shell recycled. It’s fitting that AIMU is helping to keep the marine environment clean and healthy for future generations. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Disaster preparedness, education, the environment, housing, senior issues, womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s issues, and youth and children are some of the local community projects that teams of insurance industry volunteers will be donating their time to next week.
Volunteer Week, the Insurance Industry Charitable FoundationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (IICF) eight-day event, kicks off this Saturday on both the East and West coasts.
During the week, teams of insurance volunteers will donate three or more hours of service at neighborhood and community nonprofit organizations. The IICF provides online signup for volunteer teams and coordinates contact with the charities for which volunteers work.
Betsy Myatt, executive director of IICFÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s New York/Northeast division, says:
Volunteer Week feeds insurance industry employeesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ strong desire to give back to their local communities, and supports companies that want to be active players in their communities.
In the first year in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area, we expected about 1,000 volunteers Ã¢â‚¬“ and saw double that.Ã¢â‚¬
Last year, the tri-state area saw more than 2,000 participants give more than 13,000 hours in nearly 200 different projects.
Since it started in 1997, Volunteer Week has contributed more than 140,000 hours of community service.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not too late to be part of Volunteer Week 2011. To register go to: http://Volunteer.IICF.org