The Omnibus Roundup – Water Underground, oily water, and underwater kites

Water Underground

Our friends at the Center for Urban Pedagogy have released their latest project, The Water Underground, in collaboration with the Lower East Side Ecology Center, City-as-School and RECYouth. CUP worked with students to research and produce a video exploring our city’s water infrastructure, from watershed to sewers to wastewater treatment plants. Regular Omnibus readers are very familiar with CUP’s work, and will also recognize the project’s teaching artist, Kate Zidar, from her recent feature on stormwater management. The 24-minute video, which can be viewed on Places, is both informative and entertaining — how often do you see an educational video about water supply that cuts together interviews with representatives from the DEP, claymation cavemen and Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty?”

Speaking of dirty water, it has now been a month since the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, setting off the devastating oil spill that is already past the 6 million gallon mark, and still growing. While conversations rage on about the environmental, economic and political impacts of the spill, our nation’s dependency on oil and the lifestyle choices that feed it, New York Times Op-Ed contributor Alex Prud’homme reminds us of our own local battles with mind-boggling toxic spillage, on the border of Greenpoint and Long Island City: “We tend to think of oil spills as dramatic events — a sinking ship, a burning rig. So it’s easy to forget that across the country, hundreds of spills, many left over from a less regulated time, continue to poison groundwater and leak toxic fumes. Instead of letting the Gulf spill divert our attention yet again from slow-moving disasters like Newtown Creek, we should take it as an impetus to address problems much closer to home.”

Worldchanging reports on some new developments in the field of tidal hydropower: underwater kites tethered to the ocean floor. Swedish company Minesto is working on these new turbines and hope to make them commercially available within four years.

This weekend is your last chance to visit the Fast Trash! exhibition on Roosevelt Island, and the organizers are closing it with a bang. Tomorrow, Saturday May 22nd at 5pm, there will be a live musical theater production in the gallery. “AVAC Memories tells the story of five pieces of household waste who are tossed into a Roosevelt Island garbage can and, together, go on a thrilling journey through the AVAC sanitation system.” Then, if you missed the Omnibus walking tour of the island last weekend, on Sunday the 23rd at 11am you can join Richard Melnick, President of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, on an East River waterfront walk starting in Queens and ending at the exhibition space at Gallery RIVAA.

Last, but not least, here’s a little poetry for a beautiful Friday afternoon: haikus about Freshkills.

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