Brooklyn Neighborhood Eyes Jobs On Off-Shore Wind Turbine Project, Kenyan Women Lead the Way Saving Coral Reefs, Meet the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, Bring on Electric Yachts!

by | May 25, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Brooklyn’s Sunset Park community eyes jobs building massive off-shore wind turbine project, plus Kenya’s female-led Wasini Beach Management Unit renews dying coral reefs. Meet the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, and bring on those electric yachts!




The Northeast coast of the U.S. offers ideal conditions for offshore wind: it has strong, steady breezes and a wide continental shelf of shallow water. That’s why last January, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans for two offshore wind farms that would be among the largest in the country. The wind farms are part of an effort to pair environmental progress with economic development, drawing support both from government and people in the surrounding community.

The project promises to bring more than a thousand new jobs to a waterfront site in Sunset Park, a largely immigrant, working-class community where many residents have struggled to keep up with the rising cost of living.  When Aroldo Garcia learned that the operations base for a major offshore wind project was coming to his Brooklyn neighborhood, he thought about the jobs it could provide for his family members and friends who worked as handymen and contractors, and for others who didn’t have work at all. 

“These are not service type jobs that pay low wages,” Garcia said. “These are going to be technical jobs that pay good wages. And I think the community needs that.”

And that’s why this story matters to us. It’s a reminder that most green jobs will be well-paying jobs. Furthermore, this project is more proof of the Biden Administration’s goal to support the growth of good green jobs in underserved communities nationwide.




As the auto world quickly moves beyond internal combustion engines, yacht and boat builders now recognize it’s time to do the same. About a dozen established U.S. and European builders are using electric engines in proven hulls, while start-ups are using the latest technologies to power designs built around electric engines. 

Electric boats present a greater design challenge compared to cars. While the average advanced EV gets about 300 miles on a single charge, boat battery life tends to be harder to predict consistently. 

That’s because cruising a boat on water means contending with weather, wave height, and currents whereas driving a car on paved roads within defined speed limits makes forecasting the battery usage very predictable. Those are just some of the major variables affecting electric engine performance and battery endurance in boats.

The point here is this:  recognizing that EVs don’t just mean cars and trucks—the term applies to all our motorized recreational vehicles. That in a post-fossil fuel world, it’ll still be possible to enjoy a day on the lake, river or at sea.

Right now electric boats and yachts range in price from $400K for a runabout to over $5.5 million for a 74-foot, solar-powered catamaran yacht. If that’s a little rich for your blood, perhaps you might be interested in Australia’s Fliteboard, a “whisper-quiet, zero emission electric hydrofoil. A hydrofoil looks like a wakeboard that levitates out of the water and creates a wake-free gliding experience, at up to 34 mph. It can run for up to two hours between charges, and you can have it for just under $13,000.00…

DEEPER DIVE: Robb Report, Hinckley Yachts, Silent Yachts, Alva Yachts



Back in 2016, coral reefs along the Kenyan coastline were almost totally destroyed in some areas. Rising surface sea temperatures had triggered devastating bleaching episodes for the fourth time in less than two decades, and with the whitening of coral came a dwindling of marine life. 

Overfishing only exacerbated the problem, as did a younger generation using big motor boats and modern methods of fishing, like destructive blast fishing, which killed off large segments of corals.

For coastal communities dependent on the sea for their livelihoods, the degradation of the coral reef and its effect on the marine ecosystem threatened an entire way of life. In some areas surveyed by the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), as much as 90% of coral was destroyed.

So a community of women on a tiny island off Kenya’s south-east coast came together to lead an initiative to restore degraded coral. It’s called the Wasini Beach Management Unit (BMU). Their coral restoration techniques have shown that it’s possible to revive marine ecosystems and create sustainable livelihoods for communities that depend on fishing and eco-tourism.

Wasini Beach Management Unit‘s Nasura Ali says, “The fish have started coming back since the restoration activities began.” The WBMU has about 250 members, of whom roughly 150 are women. More than 40 people have been trained in restoration techniques.

So why does this matter to us? Two words—coral restoration. Given that coral reefs are the anchor around which diverse marine life thrives, their destruction has led to the decimation of ocean biodiversity. So coral restoration work around Wasini gives hope that it can happen elsewhere, and so can the return of marine biodiversity.

DEEPER DIVE: Wasini Beach Management Unit, Wasini Island Marine Conservation Project



Here’s a really cool organization, the Climate Justice Resilience Fund. The Climate Justice Resilience Fund was founded in 2016 to help “people build the power, voice, and practical solutions they need to adapt and thrive in a warming climate,” and is based on the idea that millions of people around the world are already facing challenges from a climate crisis they did not create.

Its focus is on building resiliency particularly among women, youth and indigenous peoples, specifically in the regions of East Africa, the Bay of Bengal and the Arctic.

East Africa climatic changes interface with highly diverse cultures, livelihoods, and ecosystems, not unlike the different regions around the United States. This region is experiencing increased variability in precipitation: increasingly unreliable rainy seasons, an unusual frequency of severe droughts, and significant flooding associated with more frequent downpours. 

The Bay of Bengal is one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions, having long, low-lying coastal areas, dense populations, and high poverty levels. Sea level rise and excessive storms result in extensive salinization of both soil and water, with serious implications for food security and water access.

The Arctic is well-known as the fastest warming region on the planet. Melting tundra, shrinking sea ice are creating chaos in indigenous food sources, which puts extreme pressure on their culture, health, and livelihood.

The work of the Climate Justice Resilience Fund matters to us. The lessons learned from the projects funded ARE going to be applicable to America’s arctic, coastal lowland and river delta regions.

DEEPER DIVE: CJRF, The Climate Daily-03.31.21