Ask most people to name islands in New York City and they'll tell you Manhattan or Staten Island.
Ask Mike Cohn, and he'll tell you North and South Brother Islands, two little-known ones off the Bronx in the East River.
The retired educator and amateur anthropologist is working to get the islands added to the Gateway National Recreation Area, the nation's first urban national park which, incidentally, he helped create back in 1972.
The 7-acre, uninhabited South Brother Island is considered a key nesting colony for several types of shore birds, including the Great Egret, Double-crested Cormorant, Snowy Egret and Black-crowned Night Heron.
Larger North Brother Island was once home to a quarantine facility for tuberculosis and typhoid cases from the 1880s to early in World War II.
South Brother Island also once served as the summer retreat of Yankees owner and beer magnate Col. Jacob Ruppert.
And in 1904, the excursion steamer General Slocum caught fire, killing more than 1,000 passengers. It beached on North Brother Island in a catastrophe Cohn called the greatest city disaster before Sept. 11.
Mike Cohn working on a bigger Gateway on Brother Islands