New YorkReport

News from New York’s Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

By Carter Craft and Ethan Yankowitz Edited by John Bollinger  
Published: March, 2002

Mr. Blackwell would approve

NYC Councilman David Yassky, Chair of the new Select Committee on Waterfronts, has unveiled the City’s “Ten Worst Waterfront Wastes”.

The Councilman was joined by Committee Members Joseph Addabo and Gail Brewer, as well as MWA supporters including members of Friends of Hudson River Park, GreenMap, GWAPP, and East River Crew, the League of Conservation Voters, and others.

Councilman Yassky said he would soon introduce legislation requiring city agencies to conduct an annual waterfront inventory to show, among other things, which uses are water dependent and which are not. The release was illustrated with MWA-produced visuals of some of the 10 of the most misused and abused stretches of city-owned waterfront in the five boroughs, including:

* Impounded cars with precious views of the Statue of Liberty

* Giant salt piles where boat launches should be on the Harlem River

* A jail barge in Hunts Point

* A decayed ferry landing behind a chain link fence in Queens

* Bus washing facility on the East River in Brooklyn

* Truck parking where Flushing River meets and Flushing Bay

Let’s Call it Giuliani Island

A floating demonstration has been scheduled for Sunday June 2, 2002 around Governors Island. Its purpose is to show the public’s demand for the island to be returned to New York State for public use in accordance with the plan developed by Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani. The island is up for grabs and could be sold to a private developer, now that the legislation created to transfer the island to New York State for $1 has expired. If you plan to participate, please register via the Governors Island website or contact the MWA. If you’d like to be on hand to witness the event and show your support from the land side, be prepared to convene in Battery Park that morning.

All boats, large and small, motor-powered, wind-powered and human-powered, are invited. MWA hopes to gather an enormous numbe

r of larger boats (tugs, yachts, ferries included), plus many canoes, kayaks and gigs from throughout the region. Please mark your calendar if you plan to participate.

Getting Tanked

The 52-foot high concrete structure at the edge of Newtown Barge Park on the East River is known as the “Sludge Tank”. When the New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced in the late 1990s that the tank was no longer needed, discussion began in the surrounding community about the possibility of reusing this container, which holds about 800,000 gallons of treated sewage, for a number of community uses. A plan drawn up by the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Economic Development recommends re-use, community interest is growing. Now, with the receipt of a generous grant to fund a feasibility study for re-use, MWA is proud to announce that the GreenTank project is underway!

In collaboration with Architect Meta Brunzema and neighborhood advocate Keith Rodan, MWA is happy to announce that seed funding has been awarded to study the reuse (and non-reuse

option) for the site and the sludge tank itself. With support and interest of the Friends of Newtown Barge Terminal Playground and Greenpoint Park, Greenpoint Canoe and Kayak Club, as well as the Waterfront Park Coalition, plans are moving ahead. Also involved in GreenTank are the Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant Monitioring Committee, as well as new Councilmember and Waterfront Committee Chair David Yassky. If you would like to be involved in develping an appropriate plan for this unique facility and resource for the neighborhood and waterfront, contact the MWA.

Waterwire for Your PDA

Now you can receive Waterwire on your palm pilot, visor, or other personal digital assistant (PDA).

How does it work? With AvantGo, a free service that puts web sites in the palm of your hand. AvantGo now “digests” many sites you probably already visit, such as, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times-and now that you can catch up on the go.

The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance is a growing network of organizations and concerned individuals dedicated to helping this region reclaim and reconnect to our greatest natural resource—the harbor, rivers and estuaries of the New York and New Jersey waterfront.

The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance works through education, grassroots organizing and media advocacy to include the public’s voice and values in the decision-making that will determine the future of our region’s waterfront and waterways.