Volunteers from the American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU) are about to have a lot of fun while helping clean up New York City waters.
On August 30th, AIMU will have its annual Volunteer Day at the New York Harbor School on Governors Island. The team will help the Billion Oyster Project, an initiative to add – you guessed it – a billion oysters to the New York Harbor by 2035.
Today, oysters are functionally extinct in the harbor due to over-harvesting, dredging, and pollution, but once oyster reefs 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 oyster shells. In the 1700s many building projects depended on the mollusks’ shells for lime, and oyster carts were as ubiquitous as hot dog carts are today.
It’s fitting that AIMU is helping to keep the marine environment clean and healthy for future generations.
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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