News and stories about the waterways of
New York and New Jersey, from the
Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

MAY 19, 2014

The first NYC Community Board committee to hear about MWA's Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG) responded with great enthusiasm, voting unanimously in favor of a resolution to support the innovative program that marries waterfront design with an incentives system.

"Is it possible for this community to be an early tester of this? We are ready and waiting," said Catherine McVay Hughes, chairperson of Lower Manhattan's Community Board 1, after MWA's Roland Lewis gave a presentation on WEDG and its seven Guiding Principles to the Board's Planning Committee.

CB1 members posed many questions. "What about emerging technology?" asked Board member Tammy Meltzer.

"This is a living document. It will stay up to date with changing technology and changing conditions in the world," Mr. Lewis assured her.

"What is the City of New York saying about this?" asked member Ninfa Segarra.

"They are working with us in lockstep," Mr. Lewis answered, confirming that government agencies and regulators at all levels are in support of WEDG.

Several CB1 members brought up unpleasant noise associated with certain waterfront developments. "Noise mitigation should be a discussion point -- and that is coming from this meeting right now," Mr. Lewis said, proving the notion of a living document and of the community contributing to the process.

For more information on WEDG and its roll-out, contact Michael Porto, MWA's Director of Outreach & Planning, at #WEDG
On May 14, MWA joined Staten Island Community Board 1 to host a discussion about the DockNYC program at the North Shore's Homeport Pier. A partnership between MWA, BillyBey Marina Services and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, DockNYC aims to activate piers and docking facilities throughout the city by simplifying the vessel berthing process and providing infrastructure improvements.

Staten Islanders gathered to share ideas and feedback about the kinds of programs they want to see at the pier. At right, MWA's Jose Soegaard interacts with the crowd. Whale-watching trips were mentioned, as were dinner cruises, fishing tours and circumnavigations of Staten Island. In the coming weeks, the Homeport Pier will host public events for the annual Fleet Week New York festival, as well as visiting tugs and barges. To share your ideas, visit and use #DockNYC in social media.
 Hornblower Cruises & Events in partnership with NYC & Company and the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) opened for business at South Street Seaport's Pier 15 on April 7, offering cruises and educational programming. At the same time, NYC & Company opened a new information kiosk with up-to-date information on attractions, dining and nightlife.

Working with the New York Harbor School, Hornblower will offer courses on boating safety and training programs related to pier maintenance, as well as maritime movie nights in the summer. At right, VIPs cut the ribbon at Pier 15. From left to right: Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company; Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes; City Council Member Margaret Chin; New York Harbor School Founder Murray Fisher; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; City Council Member Debi Rose; Zac Smith, COO and Executive Vice President of the NYC Economic Development Corporation and Terry MacRae, CEO of Hornblower Cruises & Events.

Top photo by Robert Simko; bottom photo courtesy of Hornblower.
This year, City of Water Day will expand to waterfronts large and small all over New York City and New Jersey.

Dozens of groups have signed on to produce City of Water Day In Your Neighborhood events on July 12, 2014, while the bi-state festival takes place on Governors Island and at Maxwell Place on the Hoboken, NJ waterfront.

Below, in the first of a regular WaterWire series showcasing this year's In Your Neighborhood events, we take a look at what Bronx groups are planning.

The Bronx River Alliance will sponsor a guided tour of the river by canoe flotilla, leaving at 10am from Concrete Plant Park and visiting salt marsh and oyster restoration sites. For details on the Bronx River Alliance canoe trip, click here.

At Hunts Point Landing, Rocking the Boat, CityScience and NYC Audubon will be offering fun from noon to 5pm. Landlubbers can learn about tidal pools from City Science and about bird migration from NYC Audubon. On the water, Rocking the Boat will run a sailing program featuring student-built wooden boats: two six-passenger rowboats will be used to ferry people out to two six-passenger 19-foot sailboats. Guests will have an opportunity to learn to row, and once aboard the sailboats, they will be able to take turns steering and controlling the sails.

If you're interested in planning a City of Water Day In Your Neighborhood event at your local waterfront, contact Louis Kleinman at #CityofWaterDay
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners voted on April 24 to approve an additional $60 million for the  Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resources program. Launched in 2001, this program serves as a counterweight to the impacts of harbor development, and has already preserved nearly 400 acres of wetlands and other open spaces in New York and New Jersey.

The action gives $30 million each to NY and NJ to preserve open space throughout the Hudson-Raritan Estuary area. Program funding has been used in the past to create additional access to the waterfront, establish new parkland in underserved communities, protect wildlife and help reduce damage to property from storms.

"During the past decade, no program has made a greater contribution to open space preservation and public access to the region's waterways then the Port Authority of NY/NJ's Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resources Program," said Greg Remaud, Deputy Director of NY/NJ Baykeeper in a prepared statement. "Hundreds of acres of important salt marsh, freshwater wetlands, and woodland habitat were preserved; new waterfront parks were created; nature trails along rivers and creeks were connected and enlarged."


New Maritime Training Program Announced 
A new partnership announced May 12 will offer maritime training to students from New York and New Jersey aboard the restored historic schooner Lettie G. Howard, and will expose them to the operations of the Port of New York and New Jersey. The South Street Seaport Museum and the New York Harbor Foundation, funded with $50,000 from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will partner to offer students experiences aboard the 121-year-old vessel, including hands-on restoration work, day sails in New York Harbor, overnight voyages and port visits along the Eastern seaboard.

Top and banner photographs
by Hope Wright

One-Day "Solutions Conference" Part of
2014 Atlantic Cup Event 
Sleek Atlantic Cup racing vessels flew into New York Harbor several days ago and alit in North Cove Marina for a rest before they embarked on the next leg of the annual sailing race up the East Coast from Charleston to Newport. Dedicated to promoting environmental responsibility, the Atlantic Cup event included a one-day "solutions conference" on May 15 aboard the Hornblower Hybrid. Speakers include environmental philanthropist Wendy Schmidt, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and David Rockefeller of the Rockefeller Foundation. MWA's Jose Soegaard moderated the "Bikes to Boats" panel and MWA's Michael Porto presented a short program on Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG).

The Eel Deal 

The Bluebelt system on Staten Island is a cost-effective stormwater management system that preserves natural drainage corridors across one third of the island. Created and managed by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the Bluebelt system has helped improve water quality and create new habitat for various species. Eels are particularly pleased with the Bluebelt system.

The resurgence of eels is an indicator of improved water quality. On April 29, the DEP hosted students and Cub Scouts at the third annual eel count at Staten Island's Richmond Creek Bluebelt. "Eel research in New York waterways is an excellent way to connect students and the community with nature while gathering research that can be valuable for the future study of this species and its role in our ecosystem," said DEC's Assistant Commissioner of Natural Resources Kathy Moser. 


Row New York Student Athletes Win Gold at
State Championships 

Row New York, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 to teach NYC students the sport of rowing, returned from the State Championships in Saratoga in early May with more medals than ever before. Above, the Boys Novice 4+ (15- and 16-year-olds racing in the Championships for the first time) showed off their gold medals; more RNY teams brought in silver and bronze.

Row New York also offers para-rowing for disabled athletes, rowing for adults, summer camps for kids and festive events open to the public. On June 1, RNY is hosting Heroes Row the Harlem, a family-friendly celebration of National Learn-to-Row Day. The event is based at the Peter J. Sharp Boathouse on the Harlem River, and begins with a rowing race between the FDNY and the NYPD. Throughout the day there will be tours of the boathouse and learn-to-row lessons for all ages. For details, click here.


Fleet Week Begins with Military Ship Parade on 5/21  

Fleet Week, the almost annual celebration of the marine services, takes place this year from May 21 through 27, beginning with a stately parade of military ships from New York Harbor up the Hudson. Best viewing is 9am to 11am at the Hudson River waterfront.  



Final Plan for Gateway National Recreation Area Released by NPS 

The final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS) for Gateway National Recreation Area has been released by the National Park Service. Click here for a look. 



May 20
6:30pm-8:30pm. SEIU 32BJ. 25 West 18th St.

May 21
Fleet Week Parade
See story above. 9am-11apm, Hudson River. 
 City Council Hearing on Governors Island 
10am, City Hall Committee Room
Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group Meeting
6:30pm-8:30pm. LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Ave., Queens 


Click here for more water-related events on the MWA website!
Hackensack Riverkeeper seeks a development professional to advance fundraising activities. For more information, contact 

Bronx River Alliance kicks off summer paddling season with free event at Starlight Park
"...Organizers say the event on the Bronx River highlights how far the body of water has come throughout the years..."
News 12 Bronx, May 17, 2014

Pushing Change on the South Bronx Waterfront
"The South Bronx waterfront-a largely derelict 10-block swath of parking lots and dead-end streets between East 138th and 149th streets-is poised for redevelopment, with hopes for a commercial-and-residential complex similar to Brooklyn Bridge Park..."
Wall Street Journal Online, May 15, 2014

Manhattan gets first commuter ferry stopping along Hudson
"The first commuter ferry to travel within Manhattan on the Hudson River will launch next week to serve residents of midtown's transit-starved Far West Side..."
New York Post, May 13, 2014

Astoria's First Residential Waterfront Towers, Revealed!
"...And, as is now required with waterfront projects, the entire development is set above the projected future floodplain..."
Curbed, May 1, 2014

Major facelift considered for Lower Concourse
"Bronx leaders are planning a waterfront district they say will rival Brooklyn Bridge Park - but a draft plan warns of steep challenges in building a neighborhood from scratch on a long-desolate flood zone..."
Mott Haven Herald, April 17, 2014

Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance | 212-935-9831 | |
241 Water Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10038

Stay Connected
Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Pinterest