Manhattan WetLands & WildLife Association
North Cove, Sherman Creek, & "Three Sister Coves"
  Stewardship - Science - Rehabilitation - Restoration - Education  
International-Flyway Tidal-Estuary Restoration
Four-Cove Complex on Harlem River, NYC, NY, USA
U.S. EPA Endorses Steward : James A. Cataldi "Birdman of Inwood"


Manhattan WetLands & WildLife Association 



What is NYC Inwood's North Cove to New York City businesses, residents and tourists?
  • is a rare estuarial inlet or tidal mud flat on the Harlem River. 
    Our North Cove is an area of un-vegetated undeveloped land mass
  • is partially submerged depending on the level of the tides, water covered at high tide and land at low tide
  • is composed mostly of sedimentary mud and is air exposed or flooded by the tides, twice a day
  •  is located at 9th Avenue and 208th Street, in New York City, just north of the 207th street bridge interconnecting Manhattan island and the Bronx 

What is the Harlem River?
  • is a tidal strait 8 miles long between the Hudson and the East Rivers
  • is a part of the Greater Hudson River Estuary System (1)
What is the Greater Hudson River Estuary System?
  • Our Hudson River Estuary System runs from Troy, NYS to the mouth of the Hudson and Harlem Rivers
  • These waters contain a valuable mix of fresh and salt water and are susceptible to tidal forces and fluctuations, sedimentation, rare biological cycling, and nutrient mixing; however protected from the force of Atlantic Ocean waves (2) and most marine debris
NYC Harbor, Harlem and Hudson Rivers

Our New York City Harbor and the Harlem River are critical parts of the Hudson River Greater Estuary System.  Unfortunately our estuarial system is under serious environmental  threat, especially the 5 last remaining inlets or mud flats on eastern shore of northern Manhattan island  along western edge the Harlem River.  (including the north cove wildlife sanctuary with city plans for development under the stewardship of the Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife Association founded by James "the birdman of Inwood" Cataldi)

This critical area of concern requiring much more environmental protection runs from around 190 th street to 218th street, made up of swindler's cove, Sherman creek, north cove, boathouse cove, and Inwood hill park inlet.  These inlets or tidal mud flats function as a critical landing area for birds and multi generational insects along the east coast migration path, and provide ideal public access to the Harlem River and some of the most beautiful scenic views of the Harlem Rover. 

NYC portion of the greater estuary, with Inlets and water sheds

Our estuaries including Greater Hudson River Estuary System and northern Manhattan inlets and water sheds are under extreme threat of extreme risk of non recoverable degradation and complete and non recoverable total collapse.  This threat is directly related to developers, recreational interests, apathy and lack of knowledge of the issues and their importance of these rare environmental resources both for today and for future generations.  (however our public elected officials are starting to realize the extreme importance of protecting these inlets from development and the role they play in the east coast path that passes over Manhattan)

Because of high populations of people along the coastal zones, estuaries like the greater Hudson and Harlem River Estuary Systems are as well negatively affected by many factors based on human activity, gross neglect, capital greed or short term self interests of special interests.  
These serious environmental include the following:
              sedimentation from soil erosion
              unplanned and balanced development from entities like Columbia University
              money focused developers irresponsible projects
              deforestation and covering green habitats with blacktop, cement or pavement
              eutrophication from: 
                            excessive nutrients 

              industrial and commercial activities including:
                    heavy metals
                    oils, (transportation and cooking)
                    gasoline and other toxic pollutants 
                    business and agency gross abuse and negligence
                    over recreation use
                    human "enjoyment"
                    over fishing 
                    Reckless development of tidal mud flats
                    non toxic point pollution and dumping of trash 

Our Wetlands such as swamps and marshes filter the water and keep sediments back that pollute or entropy the water downstream. Wetland plants and soils act as a buffer between the ocean and the land and suck up storm surges, protecting the shorelines.  This is especially important when the oceans rise in the future, combined with heavy rains, and winds. protecting the upland habitats, and urban developments in low lying areas of Manhattan, and the Bronx, and Queens. Salt marshes grasses and other plants also protect against erosion and stabilize the shoreline.    (mwawa plans to return north cove into a five zone fully functioning salt water marsh) 

Manhattan (MW&WA) [ ] is dedicated to protecting estuary coves and inlets, and educating the public elected officials and the public at large, as well as with boots on the ground.

Future Mudflat Planting Scheme 

After the MWAWA principals and volunteers complete the clean up effort (estimated to take over a decade), and in place a barrier permitting water to pass through, however protect from large destructive boat wakes, (especially the Circle Line) and prevent river and ocean debris from again polluting the mudflat and shore lines, as is currently taking place.

What is unique and rare about our Hudson/ Harlem River Estuaries?      
An estuary is an enclosed transition zone between a river and the ocean where salt water and fresh water mix. The more fresh to salt water (ratio of fresh to salt water), the more biodiversity the eco-system is present.   We believe the Inwood North Cove is the healthiest of the 5 coves, (between 187 to 218) the North Cove has a high fresh to salt water mix, making it among the most valuable and productive of its size.

These rare natural habitat eco-systems,  like the Inwood North Cove (inlet or tidal mudflat) require public protection from development, in addition to protection laws congress, state and local governments.

These eco-systems also require daily active monitoring and stewardship of the wildlife and feral populations for today and future generations to come.  Inwood North Cove serves as inspiration and as best practices guidelines and base lines, and warning indicators for the greater , creating more organic matter in a year than any other ecosystem of similar area as part of the Greater Hudson river estuary system. 

Although mudflats or saltwater marshes along estuaries and the greater Hudson River Estuary System are protected from the full force of the ocean's waves and ocean storms and marine debris, the Greater Hudson River Estuary System, and the remaining five sister coves including North Cove and the Sherman Creek, are some of the most productive ecosystems on the earth of similar area. Because of their unique composition of salt and fresh water they offer a highly unique habitat to a large variety of different, symbiotic, uncommon communities that are well adapted (and vital) for life specifically in this habitat (3). 

Why is the Hudson / Harlem River Estuary Important? 
Estuaries are home to a variety of different species including: many marine organisms dependent on estuary ecosystems for at least part of their life cycles. Estuaries are ideal for migrating birds, and insects as a place to rest, breed, interact with other migrating members of the same conspecifics, get food and recover from injury on or along their journey. These migration points are critical for the migration of approximately 400 migratory birds, water species including  invertebrates, and insects, on the East Coast Migration Path. Many species of fish and other wildlife use the protected nature of the estuary to breed and recover from injury.. Estuaries also provide great cultural benefits in recreation and scientific study, (4) especially in Manhattan, as Manhattan is along the main path of the east coast migration. (

Is North Cove, the sister 3 coves and Sherman Creek critical to the larger Estuary System?

Yes, the  North Cove is a critical part of the greater Hudson Estuary System, under extreme threat from developers after generations of apathy and neglect and gross abuse. As well the entire group of mudflats between 185 and 218th and the old growth forest (last remaining in Manhattan), (now under threat of complete collapse).  Collectively these are rare and special eco-systems in their own right, and the bio diverse eco-systems.   More biological action in the mud and soil than tempura zone or tropical rain forests around, which have most of the bio mass in the canopy of the trees, not on the ground. 
Our mudflats exist in estuaries because of the sheltered area and the sediment deposition estuaries are known for. Mudflats are rare, unique and provide critical home habitats for many diverse and inter dependent benthic invertebrates like clams and mussels, which are the base of the food chain for many fish and birds as well (5). (


Rehabilitation has started at the bottom (lowest levels of the mud flat), and work the way up to the higher levels of the mud flat, and shore lines and finally up the street levels. Salt marsh cord grass and glass wort first- when they take hold the environment will be a great environment to start planning the rest of the plants. However the Salt marsh cord grass and glass wort have to take hold so their roots stabilize the environment and their shoots shift the tide and provide oxygen. 

Phragmites (plants) will be planted at North Cove: the common reed can take over the future North Cove salt marsh, so be will be careful, however many species including birds thrive on them. [ ]
  1. UPLAND BORDER - transitional zone, shrubby vegetation, grasses and flowering plants
  2. HIGH MARSH - Sometimes flooded
Stewardship of North Cove  Blog 

In addition to being home to millions of people and pets, New York City features some non developed natural habitats, including in Northern New York along the Harlem River. Consistent with it's efforts Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife Association emphases on wildlife habitat conservation and eco-conservation education. Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife Association supports innovative environmental projects including hydroponics, daily river water oil skimming, native planting and clean green schemes, economic redevelopment and sustainable ecological management, and recycling to support various birds and wildlife, state of the art Wildlife rehabilitation and outdoor hands on science, chemistry, ecology, and conservation education, and international, national tourism.

Support Wildlife habitat stewardship at and around North Cove area.
Our programs includes  support the maintenance and restoration of North Cove and Harlem River Water, protection of wildlife including from annual euthanizing programs and contingent on self funding matching funds form other private and public sources, through paid memberships, donations, and services and items provided by other organizations, and institutions.
Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife Association supports a sustainable agriculture system in Northern Manhattan that benefits people and wildlife. We support providing locally grown sustainable food source and protection systems in Northern New York and along the Harlem River "it's food shed, that features organic, generative and wildlife friendly farming practices to provide food sources at North Cove for the local and international migrations birds and insects.
MWAWA efforts focus on daily and nightly care and protection of feral and wildlife, and on land, shoreline and water quality improvement with a focus on reducing the stress on the life at and around North Cove, as well as education, and neighborhood outreach.
We invite a limited number of founding members, to be key members and resources of this strategy underway.
  • Monitor and protect property/area water from additional contamination
  • Rehabilitate and enhance natural habitat
  • Provide a multi-functional resource for the neighborhood, primarily a wildlife preserve
  • migration point which is a safe place where migrating wildlife can land and eat
    along their migrating path up and down the east coast seasonally
  • focus on neighborhood broad-based initiatives for NYS land, water and wildlife care
  • operate a state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility
  • run field-based wildlife and feral outreach
  • pursue the establishment of an Inwood/North Cove Tidal Basin Wildlife Preserve
  • work closely and cooperatively with area private citizens, businesses, organizations, and institutions to balance these efforts with quality of life and economic development 

MUWA manages multiple objectives in its planning and actions:

  • wildlife needs
  • ecological best practices
  • laws and statutes
  • broad range of neighborhood residence concerns
  • business concerns
  • government concerns, initiatives, and best practice recommendations
  • neighborhood enrichment and economic development objectives and goals  

MUWA’s commitment to North Cove is to:

  • proceed with a unified vision with area stakeholders
  • restore amd operate at our sole or shared expense (eventually grant-driven)
  • adhere to standards, guidelines, and best practice recommendations
  • focus on long-term economical sustainability
  • envision a return to former wilderness beauty
  • accommodate and facilitate economic development for area
  • provide land, water and wildlife conservancy best practices and transparency  
  • Monitor and protect property/area water from additional contamination
Our plan includes outreach to visitors and tourists who may leave with a commitment to financially support the Sherman Creek Esplanade, North Creek Wildlife Preserve.


Working closely with and under the direction of our primary wildlife mentors, Wild Bird Fund, MUWA provides emergency and long-term care rehabilitation and rescue/outreach efforts. WBF is a state and federal rehabilitation facility operating out of Animal General located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.    MUWA provides world class support and resources, including: 

  • Emergency care
  • Laboratory
  • X-ray
  • Veterinary diagnosis and support
  • Surgical resources and procedures
  • Dispensing medicines and medical supplies and authority from WFB at Animal General
  • Access to federal long-term care and release facilities, and sanctuaries 

[1] “Inwood  is the northernmost neighborhood on Manhattan Island in the New York City  borough of Manhattan - Wikipedia

[2]  “An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.  Estuaries form a transition zone between river environments and ocean environments and are subject to both marine influences, such as tides, waves, and the influx of saline water; and riverine influences, such as flows of fresh water and sediment. The inflow of both seawater and freshwater provide high levels of nutrients in both the water column and sediment, making estuaries among the most productive natural habitats in the world.” --Wikipedia

[3] A tidal basin is simply a basin that is full of water at high tide and a mud flat at low tide.  


  • Return open land Cove to unique undeveloped, natural habitat wetland resource
    • federally protected up to high tide level
  • Going into its second year
  • Enthusiastically and cooperatively supported by  public
  • Backed by extensive environmental research
  • No or much reduced expense to city
  • Has no carbon footprint  (no gas or electric powered equipment used in restoration)
  • Self sustainable - provides for continued private investment and resources
  • Phased Vision:
    • concentrates on land and water cleaning, land;
    • wildlife management rehabilitation
    • marsh and meadow
      • enhancement
      • enrichment
    • Possible outdoor laboratory and education resource (outdoor classroom)
  • Utilized by parks, education organizations and institutions to tie into abuses; possible mobile rehabilitation operations or rehabilitation release programs
  • Ideal stopping and resting grounds on east coast migratory flight paths which might increasingly attract more of 330 migratory birds (utilizing Manhattan as a stop-over in east coast migratory flight paths)
  • Marketed as a gateway to ocean and air
  • Support economic development at Sherman Creek area
  • Consistent with objectives of City Planners
  • Facilitate health of local economy:          
    • increase property value of area property
    • increase neighborhood uniqueness
    • increase aesthetic character of area
  • Attract first time and repeat visiting residents and tourists of all ages and demographic profiles.
  • General
    • Develop and execute nature scheme including native trees and shrubs and a restored micro forest tree line on property borders.
    • Execute a partnership agreement to begin final design and construction phase of Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project and restore degraded shoreline and upland fill landscape at North Cove.
    • Develop and execute property and wildlife management agreements with multiple uses of natural habitat.
    • In the future provide for Rehabilitation Utilization Agreement
    • Property restoration, rehabilitation and improve area and downstream water quality. 
  • Basic Land and Water Restoration and Enhancement
    • Restore damage
      • Remove trash/debris, old pier, cement and blacktop, and degraded or contaminated soil and non–native invasive plants damaging habitat, health, and critical habits for wildlife.
      • Fill to be
        • excavated down to tidal elevations
        • covered with clean soil
        • planted with 
          • low marsh plant salt marsh cord grass
          • upland plants (salt meadow hay, groundsel bush and marsh elder)
    • Develop plan to stop sediment leaching and burdening into river.
    • Restore a small portion of ecological, physical, and biogeochemical functions that have been lost at North Cove.
  • Outreach and Environmental Education Opportunities
    • After restoring salt marsh habitat and coastal maritime upland biotic(s), people will experience Manhattan much as it might have looked before development.
    • Frequent visitors to North Cove will become familiar with different biotic communities and learn what birds require, usually not observable because they are usually obscured by vegetation.
    • Visitors will begin to understand
      • often harsh physical environment of salt marsh and various plant and animal survival strategies which have developed through evolution.
      • four major elements of North Cove Salt March and how they interrelate.
    • Function as an outdoor laboratory tied into pre-visit activities, people/students exposed to North Cove marine elements (at North Cove visit) using classroom and take-home word games, scientific experiments and hands-on activities.
      • Support experiments and first-hand experience to draw conclusions about  stresses of inhabiting a salt marsh; or observe tidal action and explain how  tide affects  salt marsh plants, animals and shoreline; or learn about salt marsh animals, birds and plants in their natural habitat as well be able to identify and name  most common animals, birds and plants of  North Cove Salt Marsh;
      • Support discussions of wildlife’s major adaptations to this habitat.

Natural Habitat River-Front with water-shed runoff 

Red tab marked "A" above is Inwood's North Cove - Green Zone Shore is its' sole watershed. Re-view image, imagine an expanded watershed reclaimed from where the tracks now lay in the MTA Yards. For Overview, examine Cove Maps to see how MTA Yards shore-line restoration will inter-link what remains of 'Manhattan's Natural Shore'. Jump to Cove Maps 


Vertical Urban Farming - Panacea-BOCAF-(Open Source)

Sweet Water Organics - Urban Fish & Vegetable Farm ...


Commercial Urban Agriculture Training Program - Growing Power


Growing Power's Commercial Urban Agriculture Training Program will help you to ...
takes place at Growing Power's training facilities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Nature & New Jobs thriving in an Urban Metropolis - NYC, NY USA


Property & History

From the early 1920's, Mayor John Hylan proposed the construction of New York City owned and operated rapid transit lines to compete with the Brooklyn Manhattan Transit (BMT) and Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) rapid transit services. The BMT and IND were for the most part, privately or semi-privately owned.

So, in response to Mayor Hylan's proposal, New York Governor Nathan Miller secured legislation in 1921 to create an agency called the Transit Commission. The Commission came to develop a plan to reduce overcrowding on the subways. The original plans included:

Two major north - south trunk lines in midtown Manhattan, with one running under Eighth Avenue and one under Sixth Avenue. It is the formation and history of the Eighth Avenue Line that will apply to this webpage.

Construction on the Eighth Avenue line began April 3, 1925 and work proceeded slowly.

The following image is a composite of three plates (185, 188 and 190) from the 1930 G. W. Bromley Land Book of Manhattan. It shows the Independent Subway Line property outline (including bulkhead) and structures (with purposes) but not the trackwork. I noted the location of the float bridge and added the West 207th Street / University Heights Bridge for reference.

 G. W. Bromley - 1930
Historic Map Works

added 21 January 2010

Service on the Eighth Avenue Line was finally inaugurated on September 10, 1932, with the Eighth Avenue Line opening from 207th Street in the north to Hudson Terminal in the south.

Quick sidenote: The Hudson Terminal was located between Greenwich Street (on the west), Church Street (on the east), Cortlandt Street (on the south) and Fulton Street (on the north) where it met the Hudson & Manhattan tubes. The Hudson Terminal would be purchased by the Port Authority to construct the World Trade Center, The original Hudson Terminal station closed in 1971 upon the opening of the new PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) station which was constructed at the bottom of the World Trade Center towers. And I'm sure we all know happened 30 years later on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001...

Returning to the history of the Eighth Avenue IND Line; with the unification of all three "divisions" (IND, BMT & IRT) on June 1, 1940, the entire system would come under the guidance of the City of New York Board of Transportation. In 1953, the Board of Transportation gave way to the New York City Transit Authority, and in 1968, the NYCTA was brought into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, better known as the MTA.

In spite of the "unification", the Transit System still identified with its early heritage by calling it's divisions IND, IRT and BMT.

This would change (date uncertain) as well. The IRT is now known as the 'A' Division and the BMT and IND would be known as the 'B' Division. As IND and BMT cars are built to the same specifications, they are interchangeable between those lines. However, IRT lines were built on a slightly smaller scale, so IND and BMT cars cannot operate on IRT lines. Hence, the two different divisions.

IRT lines are also now denoted by their numerical route designator signs (1, 2, 3, etc), and IND and BMT are recognized by their lettered route designator signs (A, B, C, D, etc).

Ok, now that you got the five minute New York City subway history lesson, we will continue onto the reason for the creation of this page.

The 207th Street Yard, or as it is currently called within the MTA, the "207th Street Overhaul Shop" is still in operation, and is used to store subway trains not in service between rush hours, as well as for preparation of equipment for display for the Transit Museum, as well as maintenance, overhaul and repair of subway cars.

This yard was originally constructed to service the Eighth Avenue IND (Independent) Line but now it currently serves both the 'A' division (IRT - Interborough Rapid Transit) and 'B' Division (IND - Independent and BMT - Brooklyn Manhattan Transit). From this yard, all parts of the subway system can be accessed.

While the yard is still in service, the float bridge and overhead gantry were removed sometime after 1980 (exact date uncertain).



Contact Us


First Name:
Last Name:
Address Street 1:
Address Street 2:
Zip Code: (5 digits)
Daytime Phone:
Evening Phone:

Inwood's North Cove
9th Avenue
New York, 10034

To get there, take the 1 train to 207th Street. 
Walk east on 207th Street (toward the Bronx) 
and then turn left onto Ninth Avenue. 
Walk north on Ninth Avenue to the end.

For photo directions, see Map-Page of Blog site

Show on Google Maps

Grant Award/Dontions may be started @
Contact Us Page of our Donation Store.

Restoration Support - Stewardship - Science - Rehabilitation - Restoration - Education -- NYC