About Us

About Us

Our Purpose

We inspire all generations of Rockaway residents to care for their environment and community. We provide civic engagement and youth development programs that advance social equity and the physical well being of our vibrant, coastal community.

Our History

Established in 2005, we have led initiatives created “by the community for the community.” We see potential in places and people that are often overlooked, or marginalized. From our first community-led planning effort, which led to the creation of the 28-acre Waterfront Park on a lot that had been an illegal dumping ground, to our recent work to transform a dilapidated firehouse in the heart of Far Rockaway into a hub for community programming, to Project Underway, our current effort to repurpose an abandoned stretch of roadway into a safe place to walk, ride bikes and recreate public space. RISE brings residents together to improve the built and natural environment.


2005 photo 2005 photo


Rockaway Waterfront Alliance (RWA) founded

2007 photo 2007 photo


RWA hosts “Living Classroom Program” environmental science program in public schools


2011 photo 2011 photo


Rockaway Waterfront PLANYC Park officially opens

2012 photo 2012 photo


Superstorm Sandy devastates the Rockaways

2015 photo 2015 photo


“Project Underway” Transit Equity Initiative established

2016 photo 2016 photo


RISE Center opens to the public

2017 photo 2017 photo


Rockaways first mixed-income CSA: RISE Farm Share established

2019 photo 2019 photo


Rockaway Waterfront Alliance rebranded RISE: Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability and Equity

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Our Team

From naturalists to film makers, educators to designers, our staff connects experts in various professions to the local Rockaway Community.

Jeanne DuPont photo

Jeanne DuPont

Founder and Executive Director

Nirmala Singh photo

Nirmala Singh

Community Programs Manager

Stephanie Castillo Samoy photo

Stephanie Castillo Samoy

Operations Manager

Giselle Herrera photo

Giselle Herrera

Program Manager, Youth and Community Development

Liam Lachner photo

Liam Lachner

Community Outreach Coordinator, NYC Civic Corps Member

Delaney Morris photo

Delaney Morris

Community Resiliency Graduate Fellow

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