Welikia Project

Dear Mannahatta Project followers:

It is with great pride that I would like to announce to you the commencement of the Welikia Project, beyond Mannahatta, an effort to document the historical ecology of all of New York City and compare it to the current biodiversity of the city. The Wildlife Conservation Society is taking what we learned about 1609 ecology, mapping and visualization and applying it to the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, where another six million New Yorkers live and work and care about the nature and wildlife around them.

You can read more about this new project at our redesigned homepage: welikia.org. Note all the Mannahatta materials - education curricula, map explorer, GIS layers and papers, video explanations, discussion boards, and so on - are still available through welikia.org.

You can support the project by sharing this email with your friends and colleagues and by supporting your favorite borough at welikia.org/explore. By making a donation of any size to the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, or Staten Island, you will become a "Welikia" Landscape Ecology insider for that borough, with exclusive, early access to our discoveries as the Welikia Project unfolds over the next three years. Already you can read about a French reconnaissance of the western Bronx in 1781, importance of early topographic surveys of Staten Island and Daniel Denton's overflowing accounts of western Long Island in the 17th century.

“Welikia” means “my good home” in Lenape, the Native American language spoken in the New York City region 400 years ago, when Henry Hudson brought Europe's attention to this part of the world. (It’s pronounced “WAY-lee-ki-a” – hear it on the Lenape-Talking Dictionary website and scroll down to the bottom of the page). Not surprisingly, the Lenape didn't have a term for the greater city of New York, which wouldn't be formed for another three hundred years, so we borrowed "Welikia" to represent the fulsome ecology of our region - past, present and future.

If you have any questions or suggestions, we would love to hear them at support@welikia.org.


Eric Sanderson
Wildlife Conservation Society

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