From 23 - 27 September, delegates at the UN General Assembly had the opportunity to see an amazing example of local Sustainable Development Goals implementation occurring right in the UN's backyard in New York City.
Featured alongside 17 other notable VR projects in the SDG Action Zone, "Pearls of New York" showcased the Billion Oyster Project's extraordinary efforts at oyster reef restoration in NY Harbor. Oysters are able to filter 50 gallons of water a day (per oyster!). Their reefs create natural storm surge barriers and protective habitats for other animals. NYC used to have 220,000 acres of oyster reefs, but all of these were wiped out due to pollution, dredging and over harvesting.
The Billion Oyster Project draws on the support of students and faculty from the NY Harbor School, Research Associate Technicians, volunteers and a wide variety of partners. These include the 75+ restaurants who host events to benefit BOP, and donate used shells, diverting them from landfills. The protagonists of the film, Steve and Agata clearly describe how local New Yorkers can support these efforts, as well as broader marine conservation efforts.
Also featured in the zone were student made VR films from the "MY World 360" project that spotlighted SDG challenges in their communities around the world. The Overview Collective joined these young directors with manning the space to guide UN delegates through the experience and share BOP's story.
The space also featured a series of lightening talks, rotating experiential exhibits, and events. It was co-organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign and the UN SDG Strategy Hub, with support from Google.org.
Highlight Video & Photos below: