NEW YORK (WABC) -- Prince William wrapped up his trip to New York City with a visit to an FDNY firehouse near ground zero after a jog in Central Park and attending the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.
The 41-year-old heir to the British throne was in NYC for a two-day visit that coincides with New York Climate Week and the 78th convening of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.
On Tuesday, he visited a fire station near the 9/11 memorial. There he met with first responders to hear about their experiences and discuss the importance of mental health in their community.
FDNY Ten House was the station that was the first on the scene at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks. He then greeted scores of people lined up behind metal barricades across the street. The Prince shook outstretched hands and chatted briefly with people.
Earlier in the day, he spoke at the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit. He founded the prize, which looks for ways to address problems created by climate change, and he announced the Earthshot Prize finalists for 2023.
While a healthy dose of realistic pessimism about Earth's climate is important, the heir to the British throne said he wants people to believe "there is hope; there are people out there doing incredible things that will have massive impacts on our futures."
William's summit highlighted 15 different finalists from around the world, including efforts to reduce London air pollution from vehicle tires, reduce livestock methane emissions by new types of seaweed feedstock and use DNA technology to make more sustainable textile dyes.
"We've got to hang onto optimism and hope because it is the biggest driver of change, the biggest driver of innovation," William told the crowd of movers and shakers, after mentioning that he'd slipped away for a morning jog in New York's Central Park.
Prince William also got a first-hand look at the waters of New York City on Monday on a visit to an oyster reef restoration project.
William was taken to Governors Island in New York Harbor to see the efforts of the Billion Oyster Project. The organization is trying to rebuild the oyster reefs that were once abundant in New York waters, and which can help with water filtration and protect against storm damage.
William also met Monday with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, according to the U.N. It said the two discussed efforts needed to step up the fight against climate change, as well as ways to finance development and improve implementation of key U.N. goals.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
ALSO READ | How to find out if you have unclaimed money