The Organizational Alphabet Soup of North Brooklynby on
With so many local non-profit organizations, city and state agencies working in North Brooklyn, there’s a lot of acronyms to keep track of. Here’s a breakdown to help make some more sense of the “alphabet soup” of neighborhood activism in our community:
CB1: Community Board 1
Community Board 1 (CB1) is the local community board representing the residents of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. CB1 meets town hall forum where interested citizens can hear updated about community projects and speak their minds. CB1 is also responsible for developing plans for community improvement, holding public hearings on issues such as local zoning, capital projects, special permits, making recommendations on capital and expense budget priorities providing information and hearing complaints from local residents.
Contact: Community Board 1
(OSA) Comm Comm: Open Space Alliance’s Community Committee
Comprised of variety of organizations working in North Brooklyn (many of whom are listed on this page), the mission of the Open Space Alliance’s Community Committee (Comm Comm) is to advise OSA and its board of the community’s concerns. The Comm Comm meets quarterly, inviting local non-profits and interested citizens to meetings to address their concerns and to give updates to the community on parks and open space issues.
DEC: Department of Environmental Conservation
Created in 1970, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is the New York State department of environmental protection, whose mission is “to conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being.” DEC’s goal is to achieve this mission through the simultaneous pursuit of environmental quality, public health, economic prosperity and social well-being, including environmental justice and the empowerment of individuals to participate in environmental decisions that affect their lives.
DEP: Department of Environmental Preservation
The Department of Environmental Preservation (DEP) is the environmental protection agency for the City of New York. DEP’s principal focus is on managing the city’s water supply, stormwater and waste. In North Brooklyn, DEP manages the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Facility and as a result is heavily involved in issues surrounding water quality in Newtown Creek. The DEP meets quarterly with the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee (NCMC) to address community concerns and ways to establish community amenities.
EBP: Environmental Benefits Projects
Though not an organization, Environmental Benefits Projects are an important acronym for residents of North Brooklyn to follow, particularly in Greenpoint. EBPs are projects that: 1) conserve, improve, and/or protect the State’s natural resources and environment prevent; 2) control or reduce water, land and air pollution; 3) enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the State of New York; 4) enhance the overall economic and social well being of the people of the State of New York. Funded by various fines and lawsuits, the most notable being the $19.5 settlement with ExxonMobil from the oil spill in Greenpoint, EBPs play a significant role in the environmental work happening in North Brooklyn.
NAG: Neighbors Allied for Good Growth
The organization Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), formerly Neighbors Against Garbage, is a public advocacy group dedicated to the issues of expanding waterfront access and advocating for tenants’ rights. As an organization, NAG is guided by the principle that “our entire community is entitled to participate in decision-making and negotiation processes affecting our neighborhood, leadership of local mobilization efforts, and the design of a future vision for our community.”
NBBC: North Brooklyn Boat Club
The North Brooklyn Boat Club (NBBC) is a local non-profit group dedicated to enabling and advocating for human-powered boating on the waterways of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The organization enables local citizens to be effective stewards of the ecology, recreation and freedom that the waterways engender. The NBBC consists of local kayakers, canoers, sailors, environmentalists, boatbuilders, community leaders and activists. NBBC encourages anyone with an interest in boating, open space, environmental education, and nautical recreation to join their public events and open meetings.
NCA: Newtown Creek Alliance
The Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA) is a community organization that works to restore, reveal and revitalize the Newtown Creek. Having just celebrated their 10th anniversary of working on environmental repair on the Creek, NCA represents the interests of community residents and local businesses who are dedicated to restoring community health, water quality, habitat, access, and vibrant water-dependent commerce along Newtown Creek.
NCMC: Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee
Originally established in 1996 by a resolution of the CB1’s ULURP, the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee’s (NCMC) mission began to upgrade the Newtown Creek Waste Management Plant. Serving as one of New York City’s longest standing citizen oversight committees, the board consists of members who are appointed by the local City Council member, Brooklyn Borough President and CB1. NCMC monitors the impact of upgrades to the waste treatment plant and works to minimize the impact by working with DEP to create alternative approaches and mitigation measures. Additionally, NCMC also works with DEP to address concerns of the community and create amenities for the North Brooklyn.
OSA: Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn
The Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA) is a non-profit organization that raises funding to improve parks and expand open space access for the entire area of Community Board #1. Modeled after other local parks conservancies, such as the Prospect Park Alliance or Central Park Alliance, OSA coordinates with community groups, elected officials and concerned citizens to improve After signing a formal agreement with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation in 2008, OSA developed a direct link with city.
OUTRAGE: Organization United for Trash Reduction & Garbage Equity
The Organization United for Trash Reduction & Garbage Equity (OUTRAGE) is a coalition of more than twenty community groups that advocate for a more sustainable solid waste management plan for New York City. As the communities of Greenpoint and Williamsburg process nearly 40% of the New York City’s waste, OUTRAGE is focused on reducing the waste transfer stations and waste truck traffic in our communities to minimize excess pollution, odors, congestion caused by the garbage transfer in our neighborhood.
Anything that we’re missing? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to add them to the list!