3 Climate Activists Arrested While Protesting East River Park Logging

3 Climate Activists Arrested While Protesting East River Park Logging.

Manhattan – About 1,000 trees will be destroyed and removed from East River Park as part of the city’s resilience plan, and climate activists are lobbying hard against it.

Three activists were arrested Monday morning in an attempt to delay construction by trying to prevent workers from building a fence. As a result, subpoenas were issued.

Emily Johnson and activists like her hope to save the earth, which will see a makeover as part of the city’s East Side Coastal Resilience Plan.

“This is a violent plan that will raze 50 acres, kill 1,000 trees, harm people, kill people, and it is a bogus resilience plan,” Johnson said.

Johnson is an American Indian from the Yup’ik Nation and feels the need to protect the Indian land that was once home to the Lenape Tribe, the native Manhattan tribe.

Killing the trees, the group says, will eliminate what naturally filters the air in the Lower East Side, where asthma rates are high due to emissions from FDR Drive.

“As city stewards and tree experts, they are our responsibility, we take their care very seriously and do not remove them lightly. ESCR will almost double the number of trees in East River Park, with 50 different species providing shade and withstanding the salt spray and extreme weather that accompanies climate change. ”

The City Council voted on the plan in 2019 and it was approved.

The city also says the project will protect 100,000 residents in lower Manhattan – communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy – from future storm surge and flooding.

“The project will return East River Park with a design drawn from years of community input, updating the 80-year-old park with new passive recreation and improved waterfront access, transforming parks and open spaces throughout lower manhattan. and will add 2,800 new trees to the park and surrounding neighborhoods. ”

For Kay Prieto, who grew up here and others in the area, the experiences will soon be just memories if her hope of saving the earth doesn’t come true.

“My grandmother raised me in this park and it means a lot to me, especially after losing her,” Prieto said. “I lost her, I lost the apartment I grew up in and now I’m losing the park I’m growing up in.”

Despite the arrests, advocates say that will not stop them from leaving here in the weeks and months to come as they continue to protest the city’s project.