The New York Harbor School

November 21, 2010

The New York Harbor School opened in 2003, with goals of maritime education and academic excellence. In 2006, the school was selected as the first tenant of Governor’s Island and signed a 40 year lease. Two buildings are under the lease, a main academic building and a Marine Science and Technology Center that will house aquaculture labs, or “wet labs.” These wet labs will house native creatures from the estuary, including blue crabs, blackfish, oysters, and blue/ribbed mussels and will use water directly from the harbor. Students will also build, maintain, and launch boats from the Marine Technology Center. The Technology Center will also contain the Commercial diving program that helps make the students “more marketable to colleges and employers.” I honestly cannot even imagine having these opportunities in high school. Having a wet lab in house and a diving program as part of classes (on an island in the middle of the harbor nonetheless) is not even fathomable to me. Majors at the school include Marine Technology: Vessel Operations, Marine Technology: Commercial Diving, Marine Technology: Vessel Engineering, Marine Science/Aquaculture, and Marine Policy. Internships are hosted at organizations like the Coast Guard, NYPD Dive Unit, Army Corps of Engineers, and RiverKeeper among many others. Activities at the school include but are not limited to: Aquarium Keepers, Garden Club, Rowing Team, Sailing Team, Surf Club, and Vermiculture Club (worm club!). The Harbor School is funded by individuals, businesses, and government organizations and anyone can donate. They have an amazing (and long) list of partners, including American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn College, BAM, Governor’s Island Alliance, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, The Nature Conservancy, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (host City of Water day), The New York Aquarium, Floating Apple, The River Project, Rocking the Boat, Regional Plan Association, NYC DEP, NYS DEC, the NY/NJ Baykeeper, and many many more. The school is very competitive, but had a graduation rate of 74% in 2008 and a 95% college admittance rate.

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