and help build a blue movement in the region. Financial contributions made to MWA are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Click here to donate.
This is just a sampling of the events taking place at and on the water in New York and New Jersey. Please check the MWA website, at www.waterfrontalliance.org, for more information.
Thursday, Sept. 24
Fundraiser for the Bronx River Alliance. Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, music, convivial conversation, and a silent auction, all by the banks of the beautiful Bronx River! Honorees: Bernard "Buddy" Stein, visionary newspaper editor; Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, noted interdisciplianry Bronx artist. Hunts Point Riverside Park, Lafayette Ave at Edgewater Road. A trolley will run from The Arsenal at 64th Street and Fifth Ave., leaving at 5:30pm.
To reserve a seat, contact Stephen Devillo at 718-430-4613 or email@example.com.
Shuttle service will be provided from the #6 train.
Valet parking will be available. Donations: $75 or $150. www.bronxriver.org/
Thursday, Sept. 24
Rock the Barge - Save our Water
Fundraiser for NY H20, a group protesting natural gas drilling in upstate New York. Donation $65. Aboard the Frying Pan, Pier 66, 26th St. & Hudson River Park. http://nyh2o.org/
Thursday, Sept. 24
Night Trip to Ellis Island and Screening of new Ken Burns's Documentary
Tonight and tomorrow night (Sept. 25), Liberty and Ellis Islands will be open to the public. A special screening of Ken Burns's upcoming mini-series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" will be shown each night. $29. www.statuecruises.com
Saturday, Sept. 26
Join the crew to raise sail and try hands-on activities exploring the nautical heritage and marine environment of New York Harbor. $30, $25, $20. South Street Seaport, Pier 16. 212-748-8786
Saturday, Sept. 26
the Hudson River first hand! No need to make a reservation. Paddle time is 20 minutes per
slot (you can paddle more than once depending on crowds). Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 72nd Street & the Hudson River, 58th St. & the Hudson River. 212-408-0219
Saturday, Sept. 26
Urban Divers Ecocruise from Gowanus Canal to Valentino Beach
On the Urban Divers unique 32ft Indian shipping canoe that accommodates 21 paddlers at once. Boat launches from marine field station at 2nd & Bond St., Brooklyn.
Advance registration is required.
Sunday, Sept. 26
The Enviromedia Mobile is a traveling urban nature center and micro-maritime museum on wheels, brought to you by the Urban Divers. Governors Island. Get the free ferry at the Battery Maritime Building.
Saturday, Sept. 26
Rockaway Waterfront Alliance Documentary Premiere
Opening of a photo series displaying children's relationship to nature
and their community of Rockaway and premiere or RWAs
documentary short "Connections." 318 Beach 87th Street, Rockaway Beach. http://rwalliance.org
Saturday, Sept. 26
National Estuary Day
Annual day for Go-Fish activities celebrating the estuary. Free. East 96th St. boathouse & esplanade.
Saturday, Sept. 26
Families may join the crew to raise sail and try hands-on activities exploring the
nautical heritage and marine environment of New York Harbor. $30 adults, $25 students & seniors, $20 children. South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St. www.southstreetseaport-museum.org
Saturday, Sept. 26
Little Red Lighthouse Swim
5.85-mile swim from Clinton Cove (Pier 96, at 56th Street) to 165th Street, within view of the Little Red Lighthouse. $100. www.nycswim.org
Sunday, Sept. 27
Fishing in Flushing Bay. Equipment provided. First come, first-served. World's Fair Marina, Pier 1 (north of Citi Field, between 126 Street & Grand Central Parkway),
Tuesday, Sept. 29
Waterfronts Committee Hearing
City Council committee discussion of Resolution #1816, urging the State to reclassify
clean or processed dredged sediment from a "Solid Waste" to a
"beneficial use" in order to increase its potential for beneficial
If you want to testify bring 20 copies double-sided of your written testimony to the hearing. Committee Room, City Hall. 212-788-7210.
Thursday, Oct. 1
and Discussion: Street of Ships
"Street of Ships" is a 1982 documentary by
Charles Richards that chronicles the efforts of Peter Stanford and
the early Friends of South Street to save from destruction and preserve
some of the city's oldest and most historically significant
buildings. It concludes with the controversy surrounding the goals
of 1980s commercial developers versus those wishing to maintain
the area's historical authenticity. The film features archival
footage of the Seaport that evokes its past uses as a port and commercial
district, along with interviews with area stakeholders and policy
experts. The film will be followed by a presentation
by Robert LaValva, founder and director of New Amsterdam Market,
about the role of waterfront markets in sparking urban revitalization.
The program will conclude with a roundtable discussion-reflecting
new opportunities for the future of the Seaport District with
several participants from the film including Peter Stanford, a founder
and past president of South Street Seaport Museum and Terry Walton,
vice chair of the Working Harbor Committee, a founder of the Seaport
Museum and founding editor of Seaport Magazine. $10. Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue at East 2nd Street
Friday, Oct. 2
Out of the Shadows - The Grand Illumination of the Walkway Over the Hudson
The former Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad bridge will officially open
to the public as the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
at 3pm, Saturday, October 3rd. Various celebrations and
festivities are planned for the weekend, starting with the Grand Illumination this evening, which consists of
River of Light Promenade,
1,000 Points of Light Lantern Release, JJ Harvey Illuminated Fire Boat,fireworks and more. www.walkway.org
Saturday, Oct. 3
Fire on the Water-Cruise Night on the Hudson
Join Riverkeeper members and supporters in the Fire on the Water Brazilian-style fall cruise! Mix and mingle, sip on a cocktail, dine on a
delicious buffet, and dance the night away to Brazilian beats with
fellow Riverkeeper supporters and other eco-minded New Yorkers while
cruising on board the bio-fueled Queen of Hearts. Leaving from Pier 40. $50 (includes a Riverkeeper "Friend " membership, three-hour cruise, one drink ticket, one buffet dinner ticket). www.riverkeeper.org
Saturday, Oct. 3
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park Grand Opening
The former Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad bridge will officially open
to the public as the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park today. Activities include music, boat cruises, crew race, theater, historic plane flyover, grand puppet procession, night circus, light show and dancing, etc.
Saturday, Oct. 3
Fundraiser for the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club. $25 in advance, $40 at the door
children under 12 free. www.waterfront- museum.org/dredgers
Sunday, Oct. 4
Ship Tours: Peking and Ambrose
Enjoy a guided tour of these historic vessels, including compartments
normally closed to the public. South Street Seaport, Pier 16.
Monday, Oct. 5
Town Hall Meeting: Expanded Ferry Service in Manhattan
Help identify areas along the Manhattan shoreline that are suitable for new ferry landing sites. Sponsored by the City Council, EDC and DOT. Hunter School of Social Work., 129 East 79th St.
Weds., Oct. 14
On the Waterfront in New York: A Lecture
This Historic Districts Council panel will
examine the history and future of the waterfront through different lenses, from
the commercial past of its wharves and docks to the adaptive reuse of
structures still lining its edges. Richard A. Greenwald, professor of
history and dean of graduate studies at Drew University will discuss the
commercial aspects of New York City's waterfront development from the
mid-19th century up to 1950 as depicted in the film, "On the
Waterfront." Roland Lewis, president and CEO of the Metropolitan
Waterfront Alliance, will examine the reuse of industrial structures along the
City's waterfront. Kevin Bone, an architect and editor of several
books on the waterfront, will address the history and development of
Manhattan's historic seawall, a gargantuan structure which encircles the
whole island and has literally shaped how the city has grown.
6:30pm, The Seamen's
Church Institute, 241 Water Street. 212-614-9107 www.hdc.org
Friday, Oct. 16
of unexplained disappearances, devastating disasters and madness are
legendary in the history of seafaring. Delve into the strange and the
unusual at South Street Seaport Museum. Free. 12 Fulton Street. 212-748-8786
Sunday, Oct. 18
From the Ferries
to the Fish Market: A Walking Tour of the South Street Seaport
tour with Robert LaValva, founder and director of New Amsterdam Marketof the South Street Seaport, examining such noted landmarks
as the South Street Seaport Museum, the WPA-era New Market Building,
and historic local businesses. Tour attendees will hear about the
South Street Seaport's diverse past from its beginnings up
to the current day as a commercial, retail and residential district.
Mr. LaValva will also discuss the role of public markets in shaping
the East River waterfront. More recent history and plans for the
future, including the massive redevelopment proposal by General
Growth Properties will also be addressed by special guest Madeline
Rogers. Due in part to this proposed development, in 2009 the Historic
Districts Council successfully nominated the Seaport to the Preservation
League of New York State's "Seven to Save" listing of
places to preserve in New York State. The tour will end at Acqua,
a noted Seaport establishment for a complimentary drink. The exact
location for the tour will be announced upon registration. $35
|All Aboard! Army Corps of Engineers
Gathers Waterfront Leaders to Discuss
Fulfilling the Comprehensive Restoration Plan
A stellar group of waterfront leaders boarded the drift collection vessel Hayward on Monday, Sept. 21, to tour New York Harbor, courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers. The gathering was an opportunity for elected officials and environmental executives to discuss the restoration opportunities and challenges of the local ecosystem.
Conversations revolved around the draft Comprehensive Restoration Plan for New York Harbor/Hudson-Raritan Estuary (CRP), recently released by the Corps. This plan, a collaborative effort among academia,
non-governmental organizations, and federal, state and local government
agencies, sets forth a vision of a restored estuary with an overall goal to "develop a mosaic of habitats that provide society with renewed and increased
benefits from the estuary environment."
"We're tryng to achieve a better balance -- economic prosperity with nature, commerce with recreation," said Col. John R. Boulé II, who co-hosted the gathering with Col. Duke Deluca. Lisa Baron, project manager for the CRP, reminded the group, "It will take a lot of cooperation going forward."
Jim Tierney, assistant commissioner of the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation was aboard, as was Richard Larrabee, director of port commerce for the Port Authority of NY/NJ; Barry Sullivan, superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area; Frank Gallagher, NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection administrator of Liberty State Park; Connie Fishman, president of the Hudson River Park Trust; Marie Salerno, president of the National Parks of New York Harbor; Steve Lawitts, acting commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection; Deborah Mans, executive director of NY/NJ Baykeeper; Roland Lewis, president of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, and many more leaders in the effort to move forward wisely at the waterfront.
Support the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance!
This special evening from the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance will honor three heroes who are making an extraordinary difference in the quality of our waterfront.
Please join us on Wednesday, October 21, for cocktails, the MWA Boat Parade, awards, a buffet dinner and a great deal of fun. For more information, call Ian Douglas at the MWA, 212-935-9831.
- The Rockefeller Brothers Fundwill be saluted for its unprecedented leadership in helping to transform long-neglected areas into major centers for public recreation and waterfront access.
- Citizen activist Al Butzel will be honored for his lifelong commitment to improving and enhancing our public spaces, including Hudson River Park.
- Frank McDonough, President of the New York Shipping Association, will be applauded for his extraordinary contributions as a passionate harbor advocate and environmentalist.
|Tell City Officials Where the Blue Highway Should Connect At Manhattan's Shoreline
Final Town Hall Meeting on
Ferry Landings Set for Oct. 5
At right are existing and proposed ferry landing sites in Manhattan. Are there any sites that have been overlooked?
Give your input at the fourth and final town hall meeting on October 5 to discuss the future of NYC ferry service, and, specifically, the location of Manhattan ferry landings. Sponsored by the City Council, the Economic Development Corp. and the City Department of Transportation, the meeting is part of the Comprehensive Citywide Ferry Study that aims to expand ferry service around the city. Other recent town hall meetings have drawn crowds of people eager for expanded ferry service.
The study will conclude next month, after the most
promising sites have been evaluated according to infrastructure
conditions, market demand and financial feasibility. "Depending on a number of factors -- the top concern
being the economic climate -- we will begin negotiations for
implementing new service in the coming months," City Council staffer Andrew Doba told WaterWire last month.
The final town hall meeting will take place at the Hunter School of Social Work, 129 E. 79th Street, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, on October 5. For details and to RSVP, contact Speakerquinn@council.nyc.gov or call 212-788-9221.
|Environmental Protection Agency Announces New Guidelines for Coastal Cities
How to retrofit waterfront properties for new uses? How to align planning for natural hazards with new development? How to expand transportation options? The answers lie in the concept of "Smart Growth"
"Smart Growth" is a popular planning theory that encourages equitable development, values sustainability and advocates for compact, livable neighborhoods with convenient transportation options. Applied to coastal cities, where development interest is especially high, the Smart Growth approach promotes livability while protecting natural resources and planning for climate change.
Working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Rhode Island Sea Grant, the International City/County Management Association and the Smart Growth Network, the Environmental Protection Agency has published a new guide called Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront Communities. The guide was announced at the H209 Forum on September 9 and 10 that celebrated the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry
Hudson to New York Harbor and convened stakeholders from New York, New Jersey and the Netherlands to discuss
water challenges facing coastal cities around the world.
Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront Communities offers 10 specific development guidelines, with case studies illustrating
the guidelines in action. Download the document here. Click here to get to the page on the EPA web site that presents the 10 basic Smart Growth development guidelines. Click here to get to the page on the NOAA web site devoted specifically to coastal and waterfront Smart Growth.
|Help the National Park Service Plan the Future of Gateway National Recreation Area
At the edge of one of the world's great metropolises, Gateway National Recreation Area offers 40 square miles of biologically diverse wetlands and beautiful beaches in three park units: Jamaica Bay, Sandy Hook and coastal areas of Staten Island.
Rich in history, Gateway also is home to America's oldest operating lighthouse -- the Sandy Hook Light, first lit in 1764 -- and three landmark forts, all open to the public. Fort
Wadsworth, a military site on Staten Island at the entrance to the
Harbor since the 1600s, has been a federally controlled fort since the War of
1812. Fort Hancock was built in 1895 at Sandy Hook. Fort Tilden was built in 1917 at Jamaica Bay.
The National Park Service is writing a new General Management Plan for Gateway National Recreation Area, one that will guide park operations and protection of its resources for the next 20 years. "Local people forget that these are national parks," said Gateway Superintendent Barry Sullivan, who happened to be enjoying New York Harbor aboard the Army Corps of Engineers' drift collection vessel Hayward on the morning of September 21. "We are working to complement New York City parks."
"We're trying to balance the three missions of Gateway: the historic, the environmental and the recreational," he continued. His own focus, he said, is communicating the major impact that climate change and sea level rise will have on the coastline, and then using this knowledge to shape long-range plans by the National Park Service for financial investment. "We have to make sure to make the right investment in terms of capital improvements," he said.
This is the start of a four-year process for the development of the General Management Plan for Gateway National Recreation Area. The process will look at challenges facing the park, ideas for protecting the natural areas and historic sites, and a discussion of appropriate recreational and educational programs. "Scoping," the first step, is in progress. Open houses for the public to give input and voice concerns are being being held this week:
If you can't make it to one of these meetings, you may submit your comments by mail or email. Click here for a list of topic questions as well as a link to download the Gateway National Recreation Area newsletter, which is full of helpful information about the process and the parkland itself.
- Tuesday, September 22, 3pm-8pm, Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island
September 23, 3pm-8pm, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn
- Thursday, September 24, 3pm-8pm, Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook
- Saturday, September
26, 1pm-5pm, World War Veterans Park at Miller Field, Staten Island
- Sunday, September 27, 3pm-8pm,
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
The view from Sandy Hook, part of Gateway National Recreation Area, which is one of the National Parks of New York Harbor.
Touch the Water at Harlem River Park
New section, from 139th to 145th Streets, offers grass, seating,
trees, boulders, murals by local artists and steps down into the water
In what is hoped will be a prototype of water's edge design around NYC, the newly opened section of Harlem River Park features boulders to climb on and steps down into the water.
The date of the official ribbon-cutting has yet to be determined, but the new six-block section that ends at 145th Street is open now. "Nearly
20 years after community resident Richard Toussaint voiced his dream of
a waterfront park along the Manhattan side of the Harlem River, Harlem
River Park now has three phases open, stretching from 132nd to 145th
streets. The Harlem River Park Task Force, formed by Harlem Community
Development Corporation in 2001 to help expedite and shape this vision,
has been instrumental in building community and citywide support for
this environmentally and culturally sensitive addition to a waterfront
greenway that will someday surround all of Manhattan," Thomas Lunke,
director of the task force, told WaterWire.
Planning for the new section of Harlem River Park involved the State Dept. of State, the City Dept. of Parks & Recreation and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, which guided the partnership to create the environmentally sensitive shoreline. The process was called Designing the Edge. Read more about it here.
Eventually, Harlem River Park will extend south of 132nd Street to 125th Street, connecting with the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. North of 145th Street is land occupied by Esplanade Gardens Housing. According to the Dept. of City Planning web site, "West 145th Street to West 150th Street along the Harlem River is leased
by the City to Esplanade Gardens Housing, which currently uses the
waterfront for parking and garbage dumpsters. Though Esplanade Gardens
has so far not been amenable to the suggestion of rearranging its
parking lot to accommodate a greenway,the City is confident that an agreement can be reached and a shared-use path will be implemented in the near future."
One question about the toe-dipping. How clean is the Harlem River, we asked Mr. Lunke. He was honest. "The
water quality is improving, but it is still polluted with several sewer
overflow outlets dumping raw waste into the river every time there is a heavy
rain," he answered.
Click here to find out more about Harlem River Park.
|Maritime History Meets Green Technology
Students sail the New Clermont up the Hudson on hydrogen fuel
Recreating the famous voyage made 200 years ago by Robert Fulton in his steamboat Clermont, a group of Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute students set out on Monday, September 21 in a boat called New Clermont to sail 160 miles from New York City to RPI's home base in Troy, NY. But while Fulton sought to prove the viability of steam power to the world, the New Clermont is powered by two hydrogen fuel cells. The students' mission: to showcase the potential of hydrogen as a clean fuel that produces no emissions.
Above, Casey Hoffman, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering who is part of the crew. Click here to read a day-by-day blog of the students' adventures. Below is an excerpt, written by Will Gathright on September 21.
The students have had great success in boosting awareness of hydrogen fuel as a clean power source for transportation. Click here to read a Scientific American blog on the adventure.
- When Robert Fulton took James Watt's steam engine and built a boat
around it, I don't suppose either man knew what they had created. Two
hundred years later their legacy lives on in the din of automobile
traffic and the roar of marine motors. These devices provide the muscle
that powers the hustle and the bustle. While it is difficult to imagine
life without them, they have also led to the internal combustion engine
and menacing specters of oil dependence and of climate change.
This morning we began to retrace the original voyage of Fulton's
steamboat The Clermont. We too began from Manhattan, at Pier 84 where
our boat was dwarfed by the Carnival cruise ships and the waves were
nearly breaking over our bow, and set north up the Hudson River. Fulton
stopped at Albany, but as students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
we will continue about 10 miles further into the town of Troy, where
the school is located.
Unlike Fulton we aren't burning anything. Our craft, The New
Clermont, is powered by two fuel cell power systems (on loan to us from
Plug Power Inc.) and compressed hydrogen gas. The original Clermont
burned anything she could get her hands on - even driftwood that came
down the river - and spewed fire from her stacks.
|Mayor's Cup to Tear Around Manhattan on Oct. 18
NYC kayak championships attract paddlers from around the world
Kayakers from around the world are coming to race around Manhattan on October 18 in the Mayor's Cup. $15,000 in prize money may be part of the draw, but the real lure is probably the thrill of handling a variety of water conditions, some of them downright perilous. Click here to read one kayaker's Mayor's Cup experience
An elite marathon paddling race, the Mayor's Cup is open to all paddlers. Race levels range from Elite to Enthusiast. Special contests this year include two Quadricentennial races: Team Holland vs Team USA, and the Challenged Athletes competition in which disabled athletes from the Netherlands and USA race in the tandem division.
The race starts and ends in Battery Park City at North Cove (access via Liberty Street). Go to www.nymayorscup.com for more information or contact Ray Fusco at 845-440-3127 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kayakers and their fans gather in Battery Park City for the Mayor's Cup.
|Last Call on Governors Island!
Governors Island Alliance sunset party on October 8
Sadly, Governors Island -- that beautiful place that is managing to retain its tranquility even after nearly 200,000 visitors this season -- closes after Columbus Day. To celebrate the arts and
educational groups that made the season such a success this past summer, the Governors Island Alliance and the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School are throwing
a beach party on Thursday, October 8, 5:30pm-8pm. Dance on the sand of Water Taxi Beach to the music of the Stumblebum Brass Band, hobnob with friends and toast one of New York City's most remarkable places. The cost is $25, which supports the Alliance's ability to provide free
programs and underwrites the
advocacy that has helped keep the Island open.
|Escort Cruise Ships Out of New York Harbor on Sept. 26 and Raise Money for the MWA
Five cruise ships -- Queen Victoria, Carnival Triumph, Caribbean Princess, Saga Ruby and Explorer of the Seas -- will depart New York Harbor on the evening of Saturday, September 26, and the Classic Harbor Line will be there to see them off. If you decide to escort these ocean liners out past the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge aboard the Classic Harbor Line's Manhattan, 40% of the $115 ticket price will go to the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. Standard open bar and hors d'oeuvres included. Book online at www.sail-nyc.com and in the "How Heard" mention the MWA. Or just call the Classic Harbor Line at 212-627-1825.
|Same Day & Time, Different Cruise: See Jamaica Bay at Sunset with the American Littoral Society
|If you prefer birds over boats, consider a cruise around the 13,000-acre wildlife preserve called Jamaica Bay on September 26 with the American Littoral Society. Naturalists Mickey Cohen and Don Riepe will narrate the three-hour trip (4pm-7pm), telling guests about the history, ecology and wildlife of Jamaica Bay and pointing out egrets, herons, ibis, osprey, peregrine falcons, oystercatchers and many other birds and marine wildlife. The $45 price tag includes wine and cheese, fruit and drinks.
The boat departs at 4pm sharp from Pier 2 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. For information call 718-318-9344 or e-mail email@example.com. To reserve, please mail your check made out to American Littoral Society to 28 West 9th Road, Broad Channel, NY 11693.
Recent Waterfront News
'Finding Nemo' chant helps woman break record in Manhattan swim
Daily News, September 19, 2009
Brooklyn businesses may face lawsuit over dumping in Gowanus Canal
Daily News, September 18, 2009
Uncovering a Small Town (and Some Tall Tales)
The New York Times, September 18, 2009
Avian mysteries abound at Jamaica Bay refuge
Yournabe.com, September 17, 2009
Jamaica Bay gets stimulus cash
New York Post, September 14, 2009
Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering
The New York Times, September 12, 2009
New York City Braces for Risk of Higher Seas
The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2009
Schumer: Use stimulus funds for Fire Island dredging
Newsday, September 5, 2009