banner myriad
images banner
Low Tide 2:11amHigh Tide 8:08amLow Tide 2:13pmHigh Tide 8:24pm*
WW follow-up
Corrections, clarifications, updates and letters to the editor

The last edition of WaterWire included a story about the concerns of the Harbor Estuary Program Citizens Advisory Committee over a new Environmental Protection Agency policy that prohibits Section 320 funds to be used for projects involving placement of "platforms" or "fill" in the water. HEP CAC members composed a letter of objection to EPA and then members voted 8-1 to send it. Here, in full, we reprint a letter to the EPA from the River Project, the dissenting voice at HEP CAC on this issue. 


To: Ms. Judith Enck,

Regional Administrator

US EPA, Region 2


Re: New Policy Regarding Use of Section 320 Funds        


Dear Ms. Enck:


The River Project strongly supports the recently adopted EPA Region 2 Policy prohibiting the use of HEP Section 320 funds for any project that "directly or indirectly supports the placement of pilings or platforms in open waters, near shore waters or wetlands" or for any project that "directly or indirectly supports the placement of fill, except for oyster bed and eel grass projects." The new rules are consistent with EPA's intent to manage funds from the Estuaries and Clean Waters Act to encourage estuary habitat restoration.


NY Harbor is already intensively urbanized, with an abundance of hard infrastructure and a history of vast displacement of wetlands and shallow water for transportation, recreation and other human uses. The crashing fisheries in NY/NJ/Long Island waters reported by The Hudson River Foundation in Health of the Harbor make the new rules especially important, as part of region-wide ecosystem recovery efforts. We applaud your decision to set aside funds that support the harbor's valuable natural features, including habitat for commercial fisheries as well as the larger ecosystem of which they are part.  


As an alternative to the business-as-usual approach adding more infrastructure and continuing to disturb and displace benthic habitat, we advocate negotiating access and space on existing docks, piers and esplanades for small boating, public access and recreational water use.


The River Project continues to be a voice "speaking for the fish" in public discussions regarding the Hudson River. For twenty-five years, it has been our mission to protect and restore the ecosystem of the Hudson River estuary through scientific research, hands-on environmental education, and urban habitat improvement. Thank you for your good work on behalf of a cleaner and healthier harbor estuary.


Cathy Drew
The River Project 
Member of NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program Citizens Advisory Committee

Jennifer Costley
MWA Board Member
On June 13, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance Board member Jennifer Costley will be honored by the Stonewall Community Foundation with its annual Paula Ettelbrick Visionary Award.

Ms. Costley, an IT director at Credit Suisse,
is being recognized for her leadership at the Anti-Violence Project, Hetrick-Martin Institute and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. 

After many years managing technology at prominent financial services and Internet firms, Ms. Costley decided several years ago to "return to science," receiving a Certificate in Conservation Biology from Columbia in 2009. Soon after, she became a board member of MWA.

"What's interesting about MWA is that it aligns with conservation biology," she said. "It's about what we do with the waterfront here in New York city. It's about people in the landscape. It's about how we bring together all these different aspects of our waterfront in a balanced way."

"Balance," she said, "is the key."
classified advertising

Have a boat to sell?
A maritime job opening to post? Place your free water-related classified ad in WaterWire. Contact

Summer Nonprofit Administration & Programs Intern at the MWA
Candidate will work in and outside MWA office assisting with communications, outreach, programs, database management, and office management. The majority of the work will support MWA's City of Water Day Festival. Full-time, paid internship. For more details, click here.l

Summer 2012 Government Affairs, Press & Media Internship at the MWA

The majority of the work will involve the planning and coordination of a Press Event at MWA's City of Water Day Festival at Liberty State Park, NJ. Full-time, paid internship. For more details, click here.

Events on the Waterfront

Click on the links for more
information about these events.
A detailed calendar of events
may be found at

April 21
Spring Beach Sweep
9a-12p, Sandy Hook
Fair: Hoboken Green Fair
11a-5p, Pier A Park
Jamaica Bay Earth Day Clean-Up
10a-2p, Dubos Point, Rockaways;

April 22
Volunteer: Beach Clean-Up
2p-3:30p, Great Kills Park, Staten Island
Volunteer: Clean Up the Gowanus Canal
All day
Fundraiser: Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
1p-4p,127 Columbia Street, Brooklyn
Jamaica Bay Earth Day Clean-Up
11a-2p, meet at entrance to Floyd Bennett Field (
Season Begins for Harlem River Community Rowing
8a, Roberto Clemente State Park

April 25
Hearing: City Council on the East River Ferry
1p, 250 Broadway, 14th floor

April 26
Meeting: Bay Ridge Community Eco Dock
6p, Bay Ridge Library, 7223 Ridge Boulevard
Presentation: Can Oysters Save New York Harbor?
7p, New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center

April 28
Festival: Earth Day Rockaway
12p-4p, Boardwalk at Beach 59th Street
Swim Meet and Benefit: Asphalt Green's Big Swim
Asphalt Green, 91st Street/York Ave.
Tour: Gowanus Canal Conservancy
11a, Municipal Art Society

April 29
Hike: Tour the Tip at Breezy Point
10a-12p, Rockaway Peninsula

Is there a plan in public review that you should know about? Important meetings you might want to attend? TAKE ACTION HERE! 

JOIN the South Street Seaport Museum
Sixteen galleries are open. Pioneer has a new transmission and set of sails. Ambrose is refurbished and painted bright red. Professionals are on board in all the departments. To keep this good work going, it is urgent that the Museum has the support of every one of us in the maritime community. Click
here and look for the membership box on the left.

The NYC Dept. of City Planning is proposing revisions to the Waterfront Revitalization Plan, which affects the long-term strategies of Vision 2020. Give your input on WRP changes by June 4, 2012. Click here for details.

small mwa logo

For a map of vessels navigating the NY/NJ waterways at this moment, check

Tide times above are for the waters off Fort Wadsworth, The Narrows on April 20, 2012. For your waterfront's daily tides,
go to

For information about environmental conditions (currents, water temperature, salinity, wave height, etc.) of the New York Harbor area, check the Urban Ocean Observatory at Stevens Institute's Center for Maritime Systems

Make Donation
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
TOCCONTENTS: April 20, 2012
Row New York Takes Over the Sharp Boathouse on the Harlem River
Come one, come all! Students look forward to rowing on the historic waterway

Giving you yet another reason to attend the MWA 2012 Waterfront Conference

The Hudson River Joins the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary as a "Great Water"
Hudson River and NY-NJ Harbor advocates see strength in collaboration

Come help plan activities for this new dock!

Meet Some MWA Partners!

As the New Manager of the Harlem River Boathouse, Row New York is Inviting the Community to Come to the Water
Back in the 90s, when the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) began to transform the trash-clogged section of the Harlem River at the end of Dyckman Street into beautiful Swindler's Cove, NYRP founder Bette Midler observed children dodging Harlem River Drive traffic to get to the waterfront to watch the Columbia crews skim by. When she looked into youth rowing programs, the singer/actress found that there were virtually none and that college scholarships available to high school rowers were going unclaimed by New York teens. She decided that the way to activate Swindler's Cove was to build a community boathouse. In June 2004, the Peter J. Sharp boathouse opened.
Drawing of Swindler's Cove and the Sharp Boathouse is by Starr Whitehouse.

Until early this year, however, there was not much interaction between the Upper Manhattan community and the New York Rowing Association (NYRA), which managed the boathouse. NYRA put together a few boats of high school students each year, but the organization -- which has an active sister club in New Jersey -- kept a low profile on the Harlem River, and most rowers were from outside the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, across a few waterways and in another borough, Row New York was expanding its community and youth rowing programs at Meadow Lake in Queens. Founded in 2002 by Amanda Kraus, Row New York began with one borrowed boat and eight rowers. A decade later, the non-profit organization has a million-dollar budget and provides athletic and academic opportunities to nearly 2,000 girls and young women each year.

Earlier this year, the NY Restoration Project terminated NYRA's contract and installed Row New York as manager of the boathouse. Ms. Kraus and her team have already begun to visit local schools and talk to children about rowing. "Row New York has a fantastic model for engaging the community," said NY Restoration Project executive director Amy Freitag.

A New York Rowing Association spokesperson told WaterWire that NYRA was actively looking for another foothold in New York City. Unmoored for a couple of weeks, however, NYRA's New York coaches and high school rowers decided to join Row New York and are now known as the Harlem River Crew.

Within a couple months, Row New York will host masters rowing and learn-to-row programs for adults out of the Sharp Boathouse. Full-fledged rowing programs for local seventh, eighth and ninth graders will be offered by September -- free for 80% of students, with 20% paying on a sliding scale.
350.orgAt its Queens headquarters, Row New York has focused for ten years on empowering girls (see medal winners at right). With its move to the Sharp Boathouse (above), RNY will offer programs for girls and boys. "This requires us to legally change our mission," Ms. Kraus said. "It's exciting to see it all come together."

"The goal is to keep this place alive and active with community and youth rowing programs," said Ms. Freitag. "This boathouse has changed the community's perception of the waterfront."

Meet Ms. Kraus and Row New York staff members, and the coaches and rowers of the Harlem River Crew, at a casual open house at the Sharp Boathouse this Saturday morning, April 21. And don't forget: on the north shore of the Harlem River, Harlem River Community Rowing offers all kinds of affordable programs to Bronx residents. On April 21, the HRCR folks will be rigging the boats at Roberto Clemente State Park, and April 22 is their first day on the water.
At the 2012 Waterfront Conference:
Panel Discussions! Boat Tours! Chuck Warren!

The 2012 Waterfront Conference on May 18 and 19 will bring together the power brokers and advocates of the metropolitan waterfront to discuss the economic benefits related to environmental restoration of the New York-New Jersey Harbor. Panel discussion topics will include "Financing and Governing a 21st Century Harbor," "The Harbor Coalition's Heavy Lift: Federal Environmental Legislation in Tough Times," and "One Great Harbor: A Comprehensive Waterfront Plan for New Jersey."

What's more, the conference will note 40 years of the Clean Water Act with a special video greeting from EPA Regional Administrator Lisa Jackson and a plenary presentation by NYC attorney Charles Warren, former EPA Region 2 Administrator and former EPA legislative director.

Groundbreaking legislation in 1972, the federal Clean Water Act for the first time regulated discharge into waters across the country and established national water quality standards. Much of the country is still striving to meet these environmental standards.

Chuck Warren remembers the dramatic arena he found himself dropped into 35 years ago when he was recruited to the EPA. Amendments to the five-year-old Clean Water Act were under attack and Congress could not seem to move on the issue. The EPA itself was still finding its way, having only been established in 1970 (the same year as the first Earth Day).

"There were a number of issues that came up in 1977," said Mr. Warren, today the chair of the environmental group at Kramer Levin and a member of the policy committee of the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program. "Congress was stalemated. I worked to get the Clean Water Act amendments passed. We were able to shake it loose in late 1977."

By 1980, Mr. Warren was EPA's Region 2 Administrator, dealing with Westway, Love Canal and other major threats to the local marine environment. "At the time we had a billion gallons of raw sewage going into the Hudson from New York and New Jersey every day. I gave grants to start a design process which led to the construction of the Red Hook sewage treatment plant and the North River plant. And we told New Jersey operators they had to clean up their acts. All these years later the Hudson River is immeasurably cleaner."

Don't miss Chuck Warren at the MWA Waterfront Conference. Click here for more information and to reserve tickets.
New Advocacy Opportunities with National Coalition
Now, in the eyes of a national association of significant American water bodies, the New York-New Jersey Harbor and the mighty Hudson River that feeds it are a single Great Water.
This image of the lower Hudson River emptying into NY-NJ Harbor was taken from the Space Shuttle several years ago. On April 23, the retired Space Shuttle will make its final landing at the Intrepid Sea/Air Space Museum, at Pier 86 on the Hudson River, first flying up the Hudson around 10am on the back of a 747 at low altitude and then arriving at the pier by barge later in the day.

On April 18, America's Great Waters Coalition expanded the already recognized NY/NJ Harbor to include the length of the Hudson River. On the same day, the Coalition added the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin and the St. Johns River in Florida to its list of Great Waters. For a full map of America's Great Waters, click here.

A defining feature of New York State's natural landscape, the Hudson was recognized as having contributed significantly to national history, culture and commerce. Supporters agreed that inclusion in the Great Waters Coalition will create new opportunities for advocacy and collaboration, and provide a foundation for more effective federal investments in the river's restoration.

"While the Great Waters vary in geographic location and physical characteristics, they are plagued by similar problems such as pollution, altered water flows, habitat loss and destruction, invasive species, climate change, and more," said Adam Kolton, co-chair for the America's Great Waters Coalition and senior director of congressional and federal affairs at the National Wildlife Federation. "Federal support for restoration work is essential for protecting these important waterways."    


MWA's Roland Lewis said, "By joining forces with other regional advocates through the Great Waters Coalition, we can amplify our voices and work together to secure the investment needed to make this vision a reality and create a tide that really does lift all boats."   


"It's fitting that the Hudson River should be recognized as a Great Water in this, the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Although we still haven't achieved the act's goal of a 'fishable, swimmable' Hudson, this designation is an important recognition and should stimulate the increased investments we need to achieve these important goals," said Paul Gallay, president and Hudson Riverkeeper. Other Hudson Valley groups cheering the new designation were Scenic Hudson, Hudson River Watershed Alliance, Clearwater and OurHudson.  


Above, the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge, now the Walkway Over the Hudson. 

Public Meeting on Thursday, April 26

New York City's first new Community Eco Dock is coming to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

To be located at the end of the 69th Street Pier (rendering above), the Community Eco Dock will be able to support a variety of vessels and activities, including historic and educational boats, kayaking, community events and environmental education projects. A contract for construction is expected to be awarded in two to three months.

The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Council Member Vincent Gentile and Borough President Marty Markowitz are hosting a community meeting on Thursday, April 26, to discuss possible dock programs. "The dock will be a great new resource for youth education, on-water recreation, cultural tourism, waterway stewardship and protection, local economic development, and maritime heritage. We hope lots of people come out for the meeting," said MWA dockmeister Becky Schneider. "In addition to connecting the community and educators to program opportunities, we're looking to have people discuss their particular expertise and how their programs provide a model or inspiration for what could work at the dock."

The April 26 meeting is taking place at the Bay Ridge Library, 7223 Ridge Boulevard, from 6pm to 8pm. Contact Ms. Schneider at with any questions or to RSVP. Funding for this meeting is being provided by the NYS Department of State through Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.


In other Community Eco Dock news, Ms. Schneider reports that the Eco Dock destined for Pier 2 of Brooklyn Bridge Park could open this summer, and docks for waterfront sites in Bayside, Queens and at the Dyckman Marina are moving forward. Stay tuned for details.   

Rendering by Guardia Architects 

Expanding every week, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance is more than a coalition; it's a force. We are ferry captains, shipping executives, park directors, scientists, sailors, paddlers, swimmers, teachers, urban planners, architects and more. Together, we advocate for the best possible waterfront in the best possible city, a waterfront that is clean and accessible to all, with a robust maritime workforce and efficient, affordable waterborne transportation. Join us! Contact Louis Kleinman at

Meet some Partners of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance:
  • Jackson Heights Green Alliance

    Community group dedicated to increasing and improving open spaces in our neighborhood.

  • Jamaica Bay Eco Watchers

    The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers are dedicated to the preservation, protection, enchancement and restoration of the fragile ecosystem of Jamaica Bay.  

  • Jamaica Bay Guardian  
    Established in October, 2002 with a grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the Jamaica Bay Guardian is a watchdog and restoration program run by the NE Chapter of the American Littoral Society.
  • Jersey City Sailing
    Educating youth through applied learning using on the water activities and providing sailing opportunities to the community.
    (back to top)  
On Our Radar: Rising Seas
"Nearly 300 energy installations in the United States are less than four feet above sea level and will be vulnerable to flooding by 2030, an official from the group Climate Central tells a Senate committee. Among them are natural gas infrastructure, electric power plants and oil and gas refineries..."
The New York Times, April 19, 2012

Tunnel and Dredging Projects to Make Room for Bigger Ships in Harbor
"The Panama Canal was more than 2,000 miles away, but very much on the minds of the officials who stood next to a hulking machine on Staten Island on Wednesday to announce a project that involves building a water tunnel to Brooklyn and dredging New York Harbor to make room for deeper cargo ships..."
The New York Times, April 18, 2012

Struggling Trust Seeks Funds for Hudson Shore
"The Hudson River Park Trust is pushing for state legislation giving it the power to issue bonds, as it embarks on a multimillion-dollar effort to repair decaying piers and expand commercial development along Manhattan's western waterfront..."
The Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2012

 Does Pier 17 Deserve Another Chance?
"...The Howard Hughes Corporation, which owns and runs the South Street Seaport retailing network, is seeking to turn Pier 17 into a glass-clad shed dominated by two 60,000-square-foot sales floors on the upper level..."
The New York Times, April 17, 2012

Jamaica Bay Lives! documents bay issues
"...Filmmaker Dan Hendrick, a Sunnyside environmentalist with a passion for the bay, put up his own money to get the project off the ground. He hopes to wrap up filming by fall for the documentary, which has a working title of "Jamaica Bay Lives!"..."
NY Daily News, April 13, 2012

Jamaica Bay salt marsh island rebuilt
"A multi-million project to build marsh islands in Jamaica Bay is expected to restore eroding wetlands and help keep the waterway a viable ecosystem..."
NY Daily News, April 11, 2012

 Seal watchers find lots to see -- in New York City!
"...Small, puppy-like heads begin popping up out of the water..."
Daily News, April 1, 2012

Speed up review of Bayonne Bridge reconstruction plan, NY senators urge
"New York's two senators yesterday publicly called on federal officials to expedite the environmental review of the Bayonne Bridge so construction to raise its roadway deck to 215 feet can begin as soon as possible..."
SI Live, March 30, 2012

New Jersey, New York senators push for faster Bayonne Bridge construction
"Senators Frank Lautenberg, Robert Menendez, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand submitted a letter for the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security, asking to move forward with the environmental review required before work can start, as part of President Barack Obama's executive order to expedite infrastructure projects..."
The Jersey Journal, March 31, 2012

(back to top)
logo w/ mission for waterwire