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Jamaica Bay Advocates Find Their Voices

Lauren Cosgrove, Senior Coordinator of Find Your Voice with the National Parks Conservation Association talks with Rob about the Northeast regional campaign, Jamaica Bay Advocates, a growing network of young advocates who work together to connect, protect and restore the Jamaica Bay unit of Gateway National Recreation Area (NRA).  Gateway is 26,607-acres of rare open space located at the mouth of the New York Harbor with three park units; Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, Sandy Hook in Monmouth County, NJ and Jamaica Bay in South Brooklyn and Queens.  Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge consists of several dozen upland islands, varying tidal estuaries, and numerous salt marshes.  This is a critical stop along the Easter Atlantic Flyway Migration route with over 300 species of birds.

Lauren described the work of the JBA to educate, engage and empower a new generation of people to advocate for the park, part of the NPCA nation-wide program Find Your Voice.  Their first skill training workshop was a program known across the country as ‘Civic Voice Lessons.’ Advocates crafted an elevator pitch and practiced meeting with decision makers.  The result was a meeting with New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.  The young advocates explained the importance of bringing back the public ferry service to the Rockaway Peninsula, and completing the bike path.  They also talked about the need to restore West Pond to fresh water and rebuild the bathhouse at Jacob Riis Park, both of which were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.


Lauren Cosgrove works for the National Parks Conservation Association as the Northeast Regional Senior Coordinator, Find Your Voice. Originally from Brooklyn, Lauren received her B.A. from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT in Environmental Studies and Global Studies. Prior to joining NPCA, Lauren worked with the National Park Service- Gateway NRA as a Student Conservation Association Sustainability and Environmental Education intern where she led environmental education summer camps and overnight camping programs for youth groups at Jamaica Bay’s Ecology Village campus.

Lauren worked as a trail crew member with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp in Northwestern Colorado and Western Wyoming and studied Sustainable Development at Boston University’s School for Field Studies program in Costa Rica.  Lauren worked with the wildlife tracking organization, Keeping Track Inc., in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  Lauren worked for the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (MA) on public outreach, adventure hikes and created new access points to public hiking trails and waterways.  Lauren Cosgrove may be contacted at lcosgrove@npca.org or 646-324-2612

Sign up for Jamaica Bay Advocates: http://www.npca.org/about-us/regional-offices/northeast/jba/team.html