Hudson River Park’s Annual Submerge Marine Science Festival Offers Virtual Science And Wildlife Programming

Kids will be able to see and learn more about native Hudson River wildlife and more.

Today, the Hudson River Park Trust’s River Project unveiled a jam packed lineup of virtual lessons as part of their annual SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival on Thursday, September 24. The marine science festival that usually brings kids of all ages to the New York City waterfront will instead host a full day of interactive virtual science available to anyone, regardless of location.

This marine-focused STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) festival covenes educators, scientists and performers to bring marine science to life, including along the city’s waterways. By incorporating a wide range of fun, interactive educational activities, the festival aims to engage children with marine science and help them learn about the ecological importance of Hudson River Park’s 400-acre unique Estuarine Sanctuary.

“Every year we bring science to life for students in all five boroughs by putting on the largest STEM festival in the city — and we are proud to do the same again this year,” said Madelyn Wils, President and CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust. “Our educators have been hard at work creating virtual windows into the wildlife and habitat that enliven our shorelines at a time when engaging educational content is more important than ever. By partnering with schools across the city, our goal is to help inspire another generation of scientists and stewards of the river.”

Each hour will explore themes including marine research, local wildlife, sustainability and climate change with engaging video followed by live Q&As with experts. Over the course of the festival, 11 partner groups, including the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, BioBus and Gotham Whale.

Participants will get a close look at the many tide pools on the Pier 26 Tide Deck and the surprising creatures that inhabit them like jellyfish as they learn more about the estuary and natural coastal habitat. Viewers can also take a trip up the northeast coast with BioBus and learn about their tide pools and plankton; then travel back into NYC’s waters to Canarsie, Brooklyn where the Billion Oyster Project will share one of their community reefs; before heading back up the Hudson River aboard the Clearwater Sloop to take a deck tour of this iconic historic vessel. Meanwhile, scientists like Mr. Fascinate will conduct live experiments, providing a visual explanation of how things work.

This year’s virtual format will enable attendees to follow along with the live events to engage with the festival from home or in the classroom. The Trust has also partnered with a number of teachers and schools to offer the unique learning opportunity as a resource for New York City educators looking to offer safe and engaging classes this fall. All resources will be available in real time for live engagement, as well as online afterwards, so teachers can draw on them as needed.


  • 11:00 AM – Live from the Field with BioBus, Billion Oyster Project, and Clearwater Sloop
  • 12:00 PM – Wildlife with Gotham Whale, NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, and Randall’s Island Park Alliance
  • 1:00 PM – Plastics with Bronx River Alliance, Hudson River Park’s River Project, and Cafeteria Culture
  • 2:00 PM – Student Vision Challenge Presentations
  • 2:30 PM – Live Science Performance with Al Leszczynski, Science Educator
  • 3:00 PM – Our Changing Waters with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Hofstra University, Marine Biological Laboratory of Woods Hole, Massachusetts
  • 4:00 PM – Live Science Performance with Justin Shaifer | Mr. Fascinate

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