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Photo Credit Victoria Johnson via New York Daily News

You’ve seen them lining the piers and waterfronts all over our fair harbor, standing for hours with their buckets and lures. Fishermen… there are loads of them here in the city. Question is, do they eat what they reap from the waters around New York City and is it safe to?

Fishermen in the area say it depends where you’re casting your lines. Each angler will claim their spot to be clean. [New York Daily News]

Photo Credit Tequila Minsky via The Villager

New York Daily News: Some eat their catch from Jamaica Bay but turn their noses up at shad from the Hudson, due to the GE plants that left polluting PCBs in the banks further up.

Photo via

Others enjoy the piers at Red Hook but consider that stream of water polluted when it becomes the East River, due to the effluence from Manhattan. With the water no longer shiny with oil, or filled with needles and condoms, more fishermen have joined the conversation.

Photo Credit Heuichul Kim via The New York Sun

These days, after decades of cleaning efforts, the city is covered in fishing spots. A culture of bait shops and lure crafters has arisen to take advantage of the cleaner waters.

Photo Credit Passer-By via Wikipedia Commons

Weekenders fishing to relax after 80-hour weeks share brine and piers with undocumented immigrants with families to feed.

Those who eat their catch often do so despite the state’s warnings. There are things like crabs and eels that we should never eat, according to the authorities, from places I saw men crabbing and even looking for mussels.

Photo Credit Bill Paciello via Visit Staten

Then there are fish that we should only eat in limited amounts — or not at all if pregnant. Some of the larger fish live for 30 years, so they have been through dark, dirty water full of antidepressants, birth control chemicals and whatever else New Yorkers flush. Read more by @DanGenis at the New York Daily News here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee


Folks over in the “newly hot” Gowanus neighborhood has been getting a little more “grit” than they bargained for, according to The New York Post.

Every time it rains around here, a foul-smelling brown goo bubbles up from the drains in their homes and businesses.

Gowanus Canal Photo: Brigitte Stelzer via The New York Post

The New York Post: “It’s a very weird goop,” said Kitty Hernandez, owner of the Brooklyn Colony bar on Fourth Avenue near Carroll Street.

“Just yesterday, I had to pull a drain out because there was a foaming goo coming out of it . . . It overwhelmed the whole bar. I think it was sewage. The smell was horrible,” she said.

Photo Courtesy Josh Verleun via Riverkeeper

The area around the Gowanus Canal is no stranger to constant flooding, but residents and business owners say that it’s getting worse.

Angry business owners claim the city has done nothing to flush away the putrid problem — which has been described as smelling “like rotten eggs” “poop” and “barf.”

“It’s bad. We keep complaining to the city and nothing gets done. They keep promising they’re going to fix it and nothing gets done, ” Rodriguez said.

“It comes out brown and you say, ‘Oh my God.’ My tenants called 311 to find out what’s going on,” said Joseph Internicola, 67, the landlord of a building on Union Street near Bond Street.

Photo via

He added, “You have a 700-unit apartment building going up. How are they going to handle it? We’re all going to get backups. It’s crazy.” Read more at The New York Post here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

PortSide NewYork, a nonprofit maritime organization in Red Hook, Brooklyn will be having a massive “heavy metal” sale of maritime hardware this Sunday, from 11am – 4pm, as reported by DNAinfo.

Head over to Red Hook this Sunday and get yourself a Crosby Hook, or a 4-foot tall turnbuckle – there’s 3 shipping containers full and everything has to go!

DNAinfo: “This is a gold mine for people who repurpose,” said Carolina Salguero, the organization’s founder and director. Funds raised will benefit the nonprofit and its Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

All of the items — which were donated by a local shipping supplies firm that shut down — are in working condition and can still be used in the marine industry, Salguero said.

Photo via Portside New York

Single souvenirs like the Crosby Hook — which has become the informal symbol of Red Hook — will also be available in large numbers. “A lot of local people are interested in hooks,” she said.

PortSide NewYork’s “Heavy Metal” fundraising sale will be held on July 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pier 11 loading dock in Red Hook.

Read more at DNAinfo here or visit Portside New York for more information.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee



5 million pieces were lost in the brink. Photo via the Plymouth Hearald

17 years ago,  62 shipping containers-full of 5 Million Lego pieces ended up in the brink when they were lost in rough seas. [The Maritime Executive]

Hundreds of thousands of tiny Legos have been washing ashore ever since.

The tiny pieces have been washing ashore for 17 years. Photo via The Plymouth Herald


The Maritime Executive: On February 13, 1997, a shipping container from the Tokio Express holding nearly five million pieces of Lego fell into the sea after being hit by a wave. Since then, countless pieces of the plastic toys have showed up along UK beaches providing scientists with new insight into how ocean tides function.

The pieces have a distinct maritime theme. Photo via The Plymouth Herald


The tiny Lego pieces have been reported in Cornwall, Devon, Ireland and Wales. Many of the Lego are maritime-related, and seem to be very rare pieces. Read more at The Maritime Executive here…

Have you found any tiny scuba fins? Share your finds in the Lego Lost At Sea facebook community. Photo via The Plymouth Herald

Tracey Williams, a British writer and beachcomber who would walk the beaches near her South Devon UK home, started The Lego Lost At Sea facebook page, documenting her tiny plastic maritime finds. She now lives in Cornwall, UK where she continues to find washed up Lego bits everyday.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee.

Historic Fireboat John J. Harvey rides! Photo via MWA

Just 3 more days until the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance presents their annual City of Water Day festival!

Man the monitors of a historic fireboat. Photo via MWA

Every July, the MWA hosts City of Water Day – a full day festival, filled with free waterfront activities – boat rides, live music, dockside tours, great food and more!

Photo via MWA

There’s even a cardboard-kayak race – so much fun for the whole family.

Competitors from last year’s cardboard kayak race. Photo via

City of Water Day: MWA’s City of Water Day Festival is a free day-long celebration that draws thousands of people from throughout the NY-NJ metropolitan region to participate in hundreds of unique, fun, and educational waterfront activities held all around the harbor.

Organized by MWA and its 700 Alliance Partners, the events run between 10am – 4pm this Saturday July 12th, 2014. 

Hands-on exhibits for the whole family to enjoy. Photo via MWA

Check out the many, activities at the festival and in your own neighborhood! Click here for directions to the various locations.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Tug Mary Alice (foreground) and Ellen McAllister cruise by our tour boat at Port Newark Container Terminal. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman


Miss the last Hidden Harbor Tour®?

You’re in luck, Working Harbor Committee in partnership with Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises will cruise the container port terminals of Port Elizabeth/Port Newark, this Saturday 28 June.

Ellen McAllister soon pulled along side our boat. Photo: ©John Skelson

Leaving from Circle Line’s iconic Pier 83 at West 42 Street/ 12 Avenue – the two and a half hour, fully narrated cruise travels down the majestic North River, along the working waterfront of Brooklyn, through ‘tugboat alley’, and behind-the-scenes of our port – the 3rd. largest in the nation.

Caitlin Ann with barge tow at Port Newark. Photo ©John Skelson.

USS Slater is about to leave Caddell Dry Dock after a long refurb project. The work is almost done, and she’s getting ready to journey back to her home port in Albany. If she doesn’t leave town before the 28th., it’ll be the last chance to see her in all her restored glory, moored in Staten Island.

USS Slater getting her colors at Caddell Dry Dock. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

Finishing touches being put on USS Slater. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

Guest Speakers on June 28th include Ed Kelly, executive director of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York/ New Jersey and Captain Maggie Flanagan, maritime educator at the South Street Seaport Museum.

Get insider stories and learn about our maritime heritage, its history and  importance today and into the future.

A big one’s coming in! MSC container ship escorted by two Moran tugs. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman


Saturday 28 June Hidden Harbor Tour
departs from Pier 83, West 42nd Street and 12th Ave
Boarding @ 10:30 a.m. –  Cruising 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Contact for group sales (15+ people)

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee




Last week, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of Tender 4, an all-electric dredge tender Erie Canal work boat. Built from a 1928 tugboat, her circa 1980’s diesel engine was replaced with a new electric motor designed by Elco Motor Yachts, LLC, of Athens, New York. [Governor Cuomo Press Release]

The battery-powered all-electric powertrain system means saying goodbye to polluting exhaust emissions and accidental fuel spills. The cleaner, greener electric system will also be less expensive to maintain.

The project is the result of a partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). Additionally, the New York State Canal Corporation collaborated with Yorkville-based New West Technologies, LLC, in order to determine how best to transition the State’s work boat fleet to a cleaner propulsion system. The boat’s new electric motor was designed by Elco Motor Yachts, LLC, of Athens, New York. “

By partnering with the private sector, New York State is transforming an 86-year old tug boat into a cleaner, greener and more modern zero-emission vehicle,” Governor Cuomo said. “Projects like this demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment and show how this continued dedication is laying the groundwork for a clean energy economy of tomorrow.”

Read more from the NYS Governor’s Press Office here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Photo via

The 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim covers a mind-blowing 120 miles and is the longest marathon swim in the world.



Starting from Rip Van Winkle Bridge up in  the Catskills, the 7 day-7 stage swim travels down the length of the mighty Hudson River to the gateway of the Atlantic Ocean at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

Photo via

The marathon swim, now in its fourth year is hosted by CIBBOWS , a not-for-profit organization dedicated to “being the very best New York City resource for open water swimmers”.

In 2013, the World Open Water Swimming Organization (WOWSA) recognized 8 Bridges as one of Americas top 100 open water swims for 2014. []

Photo via For one week, each day’s marathon swim begins with the ebb tide at one bridge and ends at the next, covering distances ranging from 13.2 miles to 19.8 miles. Swimmers can participate as solos or relays  in one to all of the seven stages.

Photo via

The swim strings together the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, Mid-Hudson Bridge, Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, Bear Mountain  Bridge, Tappan Zee Bridge, George Washington Bridge, and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

Photo by Greg Porteus via

8 Bridges partners with Riverkeeper and safety vessel Launch 5 to promote the health and enjoyment of the Hudson River.

The fourth seven-day, seven-stage, 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim will take place from June 18 – June 25 2014. For more info visit

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee





New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has issued a request for proposals for detailed feasibility studies of storm surge barriers at Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek.

Conceptual rendering of Newtown Creek surge barrier. (New York City Economic Development Corporation) via Capital New York

During Hurricane Sandy, the waters of Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal flooded the neighborhoods of Gowanus, Red Hook, Greenpoint, East Williamsburg, Bushwick, Maspeth, and Long Island City. There was extensive damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure.

Flooded Greenpoint Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn during Hurricane Sandy. Photo by NCA via The Accessible City

Daniel Zarrilli, Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency: “Hurricane Sandy didn’t just expose our vulnerabilities along the ocean, it also had a devastating impact along inland waterways in all five boroughs.

Storm surge barriers along inland waterways would play a vital role in the City’s resiliency efforts and, in coordination with the ongoing Superfund work, would reduce flood risk in these vulnerable commercial and residential neighborhoods, providing new opportunities to transform the city and make our neighborhoods safer.”

Download RFP (PDF) here. Submission Deadline: July 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Read more of the official Press Release here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee


Andrew M. Cuomo – Governor








News Release from The new York State Governors Office:
Albany, NY (May 23, 2014)

Governor Cuomo Announces GPS Online Tracking System to View New NY Bridge Construction Vessels – New System Allows for Boaters to See Location of Bridge Construction Vessels

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system to track construction vessels in the area of the New NY Bridge project. An interactive map showing vessel locations on the Hudson River is now available on the project website,, for recreational and commercial boaters to get updated information on this very active construction zone.

Tapan Zee Bridge. Photo: Severin St Martin via wikipedia

The GPS tracking system is just one of the new boater safety enhancements being instituted by the New York State Thruway Authority, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) and the United States Coast Guard as the summer boating season gets underway with the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Photo via New York State Governors Office website

“With these new enhancements being put in place, boaters will be better protected, as will the construction crews working on the New New York Bridge,” Governor Cuomo said. “Every precaution we take on this active work zone now will not only help keep people safe, but will also keep the project on-schedule and ultimately provide drivers with a less-congested commute and a safer bridge to get where they need to go.”

The boater safety enhancements include:

  • GPS tracking for TZC vessels and barges
  • Interactive GPS webpage for recreational/commercial boaters
  • Electronic geo-fence alarm system to monitor barge movement
  • Enhanced mooring lines and inspection protocols for TZC barges
  • Additional TZC deckhands and enhanced training program
  • Proposed U.S. Coast Guard safety zone around mooring locations
  • New lighted buoys and markers being installed
  • 24-Hour TZC safety/security patrols
  • Enhanced marine law enforcement patrols
  • Extended U.S. Coast Guard Regulated Navigation Area (RNA)
  • New signage announcing the RNA on river
  • “Slow, No Wake Speed Zone” in RNA
  • Access channel to be marked for Piermont boaters/marinas
  • Boater Safety information [PDF download] being distributed to marinas, boat clubs, public launches
  • New thermal imaging security camera system monitoring entire work zone

Some 90 Tappan Zee Constructors vessels are currently on the Hudson River in the project area and at the peak of activity this summer, 130 or more vessels could be in the work zone. Crew boats, tug boats, barge mounted cranes and barges – as well as temporary fixed platforms – are in the area of the existing Tappan Zee Bridge and may be moved at any time. Boaters are advised to use extreme caution in the area.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced that it is extending its Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) around the project site to 500 yards north and 500 yards south of the existing bridge. Boaters are advised to proceed with no wake at a maximum speed of five knots in this area, and to transit the main channel when traveling between the north and south sides of the bridge.

The RNA also allows the Coast Guard to limit or prohibit marine traffic in those areas if necessary. The RNA had already encompassed 200 yards south and 300 yards north of the bridge.

GPS vessel tracking and RNA zone. Image via New York State Governors Office

The Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors have also applied for a new safety zone around the 16 construction barge mooring locations at the site. No recreational vessel traffic will be allowed in the safety zone.

The GPS tracking map is for informational purposes and not intended for navigation.

More New NY Bridge boater safety information, including the U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners and construction site maps, can be found here:


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