Landing at Newark airport, approaching from the south, I flew right over the southern part of Staten Island. This is both the southernmost point of New York City and New York State. Bounded in the foreground and background by New Jersey, the southern part of the island is bordered by Raritan Bay. The bay is named for the Raritan band of the Unami Indians, part of the Lenape nation. They were the first people to live in Staten Island. After a complex and depressing history of wars they finally sold the land and few remain there today.
From the plane window I could see Tottenville, which was until 1898 the southernmost village in New York, when Staten Island became part of New York City. Staten Island is known as the greenest borough, with over a third of the land in protected parks. As can be seen from this aerial view, though heavily built up there are many areas of coastal wetlands and wildlife is surprisingly abundant given how close it is to the most populous city in the U.S. As I discovered in my years of living in and near NYC, nature thrives even in the most urban environments.