Weekend Plans: Whales, Oysters, and Jupiter

Ready to celebrate Independence Day (and to enjoy a long weekend)? I know I am. Here are a few ways to explore the natural world in NYC and beyond (July 2 – 3, 2016):

Go Outside

Take a Summer Friday to see humpback whales off the coast of the Rockaways. Learn more about whale watching and research in New York City from Gotham Whale.

Speaking of the Rockaways, the entire Rockaway boardwalk is open for the first time since Hurricane Sandy. Join the Urban Rangers at Beach 86th Street for Plover Day and celebrate 20 years of endangered species protection of the Piping Plover.

Join naturalists and look for dragonflies, native plants, and wildlife on a free nature walk along the Hudson River Park’s esplanade.

Stop by a telescope in Lincoln Center Plaza or Brooklyn Museum Plaza and try to see Jupiter and its moons.

If you want to avoid the crowds for July 4th fireworks, you can always try to find tiny lights instead: fireflies.

Humpback Whale by Mike Baird


Once oysters were so plentiful in the New York City that the streets were paved with oyster shells. By 1906, our waterways were so polluted that the oysters disappeared. Now we are living in a 21st-century “oyster renaissance.” Listen to WNYC’s podcast about NYC oysters with Pete Malinowski, chief oyster officer at the New York Harbor School.


For nearly five years, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has travelled towards Jupiter. On July 4, Juno will finally arrive at its destination. The New York Times has a great round-up of what we hope to learn about Jupiter.


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