Floating NYC Art Installation Shows East River’s Pollution Level

Pippa Stevens | CNBC
Friday, October 11, 2019

Read the full story at CNBC.

"New York’s East River isn’t exactly known for being clean," writes Pippa Stevens for CNBC. "But a new art installation, which provides real-time data on the cleanliness of the water, is aiming to show that it might not actually be all that bad."

The installation, created by PLAYLAB Inc., Family New York and Friends of +POOL and funded by Heineken, The Howard Hughes Corporation and the National Endowment for the Arts, is a 50 x 50-foot plus sign composed of a series of LED lights that change color based on the water quality. They glow blue when the water is safe to swim in, and pink when it’s not. The direction with which the lights illuminate is based the movement of the water’s current, and the speed with which the lights move is determined by the water’s velocity.

To do this, "+POOL partnered with scientists from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who installed the water-monitoring device on Pier 17." MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate student Shawnee Traylor serves as the Science and Technology Advisor for the project.

The design raises the awareness of “the positive steps we have taken to improve water quality since the Clean Water Act of 1972,” according to the installation’s website, “a symbol of inclusivity in that the water that surrounds us belongs to no one single group, but to everyone.” The ultimate goal is to, one day, install a public swimming pool in the river.

Story Image: +POOL Light seen from New York’s Pier 17 (Credit: Pippa Stevens | CNBC)