Eric W. Sanderson and Lucinda Royte

After a decade of research (1999 – 2009), the Mannahatta Project un-covered the original ecology of Manhattan, one of New York City’s five boroughs. The Welikia Project goes beyond Mannahatta to encompass the entire city, discover its original ecology and compare it what we have today. The Welikia Project focuses on the historical and contemporary ecology of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the waters in-between, while still serving up all we have learned about Mannahatta. Welikia provides the basis for all the people of New York to appreciate, conserve and re-invigorate the natural heritage of their city no matter which borough they live in. Although Mannahatta was extraordinary, it probably was not unique in its natural wonders: great ecological communities, abundant wildlife species and ecological ways of living were to be found also on the adjacent mainland (in the Bronx), on western Long Island (Queens and Brooklyn), and on the south side of the harbor (Staten Island.) Today 6.4 million people live in these boroughs, the largest parks in the city lie within their bounds, and opportunities for enhancing the nature treasures of the city wait to be discovered. For this reason, the Welikia Project includes a focus on measuring the modern biodiversity of the city, in terms of the communities and species of 400 years ago, so that we can say what is doing well, what we lack, and where we can improve, and translating that information into websites, educational materials, and experiences that enable New Yorkers from all boroughs to discover the special ecology of their place.

More information:
Welikia web page