Akeem’s Climate Story


Akeem James


Staten Island, NY 10301

How are you sensing climate change?

My climate story takes its place in the New York. New York City to has always been an attractive place for tourists and visitors. The bustling busy streets filled with vibrant life every corner you look. People travel to NYC with promises of excitement as big as the Empire State Building. Media and film portray the wide array of festivities to take place in when visiting the popular metropolitan city. Far away Staten Island has always been special, not because its my home, but because of its dedication to nature and the environments place in our society. The borough once laid claim to housing the largest landfill in North America (Fresh Kills Landfill) which was also a site to put the debris that was taken from the ground zero site after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Besides the Landfill Staten Island was only known for the ferry to Manhattan and the rap group known as the Wu-Tang Clan. The landfill was eventually shutdown and is now a city park. NYC will open the new park in stages through the year 2036, the renovation will see Staten Island have a park that is three times the size of Manhattan’s Central Park. Staten Island has always had parks across the borough that are teeming with green everywhere, creeks and ponds pouring with aquatic life. Staten Island prided itself on the embrace of mother nature instead of sweeping skyscrapers and an intricate subway system like other boroughs in NYC. Since 2015, a lot of the luster Staten Island once has been gradually fading, rampant development and a population boom has begun to take its toll. NYC summers are never really forgiving, but increased temperatures have made even Staten Island a furnace in the summer months. Emissions from the growing motorist population cascade the air making certain parts as insufferable as areas in Manhattan.

How do these changes make you feel?

The changing landscape of the most nature-centered borough is worrying me of the future to come. Staten Island is a haven for those who wish to seek refuge from the boisterous other boroughs that are brimming with people and a myriad of situations. The city life is spilling over into island life, more trees are coming down, more development for metropolitan style infrastructure is growing, as climate change affects our beaches and shorelines there seems to be more interest in the dollar amounts going into pockets than the future of our home. People from (Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn) would escape to Staten Island for a much calmer lifer that wasn’t a backdrop for the demanding city life. As more and more islanders grow up there is a gradual exodus permeating through NYC and it’s surprisingly noticeable in Staten Island as well. I feel that luster of what Staten Island was is simply just nostalgia now.

An expressway and buildings
Water and a bridge at night
Staten Island Ferry at night


Northeastern Region



Staten Island, NY 10301

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