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State Senator Daniel Squadron. Photo by Theodorakis via the New York Daily News

Get it done.

Local pols State Senator Daniel Squadron and Councilman Steve Levin put the pressure on last week to get East River Ferry’s India Street pier in Greenpoint reopened before the 5-week long scheduled shutdown of the G train between Greenpoint, Brooklyn and LIC in Queens. [The Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

Photo via East River Ferry

The ferry landing was closed and fenced-off in mid-February when the gangway collapsed into the river. Thankfully, no one was hurt but repairs to the vital commuting option have been stalled for 5 long months in a hot-potato game of who’s responsible while ferry boats bypass Greenpoint altogether.

India Street Pier, Greenpoint, before the collapse. Photo by Jim Henderson, Wikipedia Commons via Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: “With two weeks before the G train’s summer shutdown, we still haven’t received a firm date on when the India Street pier will be reopened,” the pols said in a joint statement. “This is a transportation lifeline for Greenpointers and northern Brooklynites, especially with the looming G train shutdown. Though the EDC has worked with us to create a shuttle service, the ferry landing has not been available for use since February 13 of this year.”

Photo by lesterhead/Flickr via New York Observer

Can it happen in a week?

Now, the Greenpoint ferry stop could be back in service by next Friday, according to NYCEDC spokesman Ian Fried, as reported by DNAinfo. A barge-mounted crane appeared on-site Thursday morning to install new piles for the new ferry landing and gangway.

Photo via Instagram/East River Ferry

DNAinfo: “The G train is a critical transportation link for people in the area,” Fried said. “We recognize the importance of making sure the East River Ferry is operating in Greenpoint prior to the G train shutdown. Red Sky has always operated with this in mind.”

Weeks on the scene. Photo by Doyle Murphy via New York Daily News

The city allowed Red Sky to move forward by building a new landing and gangway instead of repairing the old one.

“Obviously safety is the first priority,” Fried said. “There’s no way that the ferry landing will open until it is absolutely safe to do so.”

Read more at Brooklyn Daily Eagle here and DNAinfo here

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Photo by Mykl Roventine via wikipedia

Brooklyn Bridge Park has opened a waterfront roller skating rink on Pier 2 with spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan. The new rink opened last Friday and is part of a 5-acre recreation space which includes shuffleboard, basketball courts and fitness equipment. [The Wall Street Journal]

The 180-foot-long oval rink at Brooklyn Bridge Park is operated by Michael Feiger of New York Skating LLC, a former owner of Empire Roller Skating Center in Brooklyn, which was more than 60 years old when it closed in 2007.

Photo via the Municipal Art Society

The new rink will be open to the public 7 days a week with mix of public skate time, roller hockey and derby team events, and FREE admission skates on Mondays and Fridays from 3PM – 6PM, and Sundays from 10AM – Noon. [Brooklyn Bridge Park]

DeLeon Marshall, left, a floor guard, helps Damani Brathwaite, 5, at the Pier 2 Roller Rink at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo by Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 2 Roller Rink Schedule

10AM – 3PM: Public Skate
3PM – 6PM: Public Skate – FREE Admission
6:30PM – 10PM: Affordable Family Skate – $3 Admission

10AM – 7:30PM: Public Skate
8PM – 11PM: Adult Skate (21 & older only)

10AM – 10PM: Public Skate

10AM – 5PM: Public Skate
5PM – 10PM: Affordable Family Skate – $3 Admission

10AM – 3PM: Public Skate
3PM – 6PM: Public Skate – FREE Admission
6PM – 10:30PM: Public Skate

10AM – Noon: Skating Lessons
Noon – 10:30PM: Public Skate

10AM – Noon: Public Skate - FREE Admission
Noon – 7:30PM: Public Skate
8PM – 11PM: Adult Night (21 & older only)

Admission Prices
Public Skate (weekday): $5 Admission
Public Skate (weekend): $8 Admission
Adult Skate Sessions: $8 Admission
Skating Lessons: $10 per Lesson

Equipment Rental Prices
Roller Skates: $6
Inline Skates: $6
Skate Mate: $6

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

5 months after the floating dock at the India Street collapsed into the East River back in February, the East River Ferry stop remains closed and padlocked. [The Brooklyn Paper]

Photo by Doyle Murphy via New York Daily News.

For months, the NYCEDC have said the pier owners and the ferry operator are working to repair the issue, promising the community that service would be restored before the planned shut-down of the G train for repairs at the end of this month.

However, there seems to be nothing happening… making locals skeptical and nervous.

Photo by lesterhead/Flickr via New York Observer

The Brooklyn Paper: The East River Ferry has been without its India Street pier since Feb. 13, when the floating portion of the pier broke free of its moorings, plunging the connecting gangway into the icy water moments after commuters crossed it. G-train service to Queens is scheduled to be cut off on July 28, beginning five weeks of work to repair the Hurricane-Sandy damaged tunnel beneath Newtown Creek.

The G is the only line connecting Greenpoint to … everything else. Photo by Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

The city’s Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the passenger-boat service connecting Brooklyn Bridge Park, Williamsburg, Queens, and parts of Manhattan, said the dock’s owner is working hard to get the stop back on the ferry’s schedule in time for the Queens disconnect.

Photo via East River Ferry

A rider said it is long past time for the ferry stop to come back online — and that ferry staffers are mum when it comes to information about when that might happen.

“It would be so much more useful if everyone did not have to walk all the way from Greenpoint,” said rider Magda Sadiq as she got off the ferry at the N. Sixth Street pier in Williamsburg. “And the guys on the boat are not informed of anything, so they are no help.” Read more at The Brooklyn Paper here…

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


The East River Ferry has not made a stop in Greenpoint since the ferry landing’s gangway collapsed into the frigid river back in February. Thankfully no one was on or near the ramp at the time.

Photo: ©Doyle Murphy via NY Daily News

But, months have passed with no movement on the repair of the dock and boats continue to bypass Greenpoint altogether.

Photo via East River Ferry

According to the New York Daily News, RedSky Capital, the owner of the Greenpoint pier, has been reluctant hire crane equipment needed to move forward the investigations and repairs of the dock.

While City officials and the dock owner hash out the details of who pays what, commuters have been left high and dry in North Brooklyn. Read more at the NY Daily News here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee




News Release:

Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance‘s 2014 Waterfront Conference will explore progress on the waterfront over the last 12 months with a special focus on the remarkable grassroots, community-based waterfront plans developed before and after Superstorm Sandy, and take an early look at the de Blasio administration’s approach to waterfront policy.

Taking place aboard the magnificent Hornblower Infinity, this year’s conference focuses on community leadership and community-based planning.

The waterfront is a shared resource with uses and potential benefits for all people and all sectors.

Additionally, we are faced with the ever-increasing threats of coastal flooding, sea level rise, and climate change.  The need to ensure equity dictates that we build for resilience in all waterfront areas, from industrial to residential to parkland, so that they are protected and active.  We must continue to make equity and resilience the twin goals of every project on the waterfront.

We welcome your participation in this important dialogue.

Program Schedule:
8:00 – 9:00am Registration/Board Boat

9:00 – 9:30am Keynote Address – Chris Ward, Executive Vice President, Dragados

9:30 – 10:45am Plenary 1

After the Storm: It’s All About Implementation

10:45 – 11:00am Break
11:00 – 12:15pm Plenary 2

Sandy Changed Everything.  Or Did It?<

12:15 – 1:30pm Lunch Aboard the Hornblower Infinity
12:25pm Boat Departs

1:30 – 2:45pm Panel Discussions

Panel 1: Getting to Transit Equity via Ferries

Panel 2: Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines: An East River Laboratory

2:45 – 3:00pm  Break
3:00 – 4:15pm  Panel Discussions

Panel 3: Fishable, Swimmable, and Paddle-able

Panel 4: Pulling Back the Curtain: The Working Waterfront, Innovation and Education

4:15 – 5:00pm  Cocktails and Awards

WHEN: April 24, 2014 from 9:00am – 5:00pm

WHERE: Aboard the HORNBLOWER INFINITY (Hornblower Landing at Hudson River Park’s Pier 40, cross at W Houston St)

Click for Tickets

via Metropolitan Waterfront Allianc

Dredging starts on Newtown Creek next week according to the NYC DEP latest update as reported by Brownstoner Queens, Queens Chronicle and Gothamist.

Dredging will take approximately 6 weeks. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman via Queens Brownstoner

Newtown Creek, one of two federally designated superfund sites in NYC is about to have some of her toxic sediments scooped out to deepen and widen the maritime channel for the brand new state-of-the-art sludge boats that have been procured by the city.

New DEP Sludge boat – Hunts Point. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman/Newtown Pentacle

Our current sludge boat fleet will be phased out over time and replaced with the new vessels, which have been custom-designed to pump their “honey” directly from the boat into the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant facility.

DEP Sludge Boat Newtown Creek. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman / Newtown Pentacle

This necessitates dredging the maritime channel to accommodate the new vessels from Whale Creek (waterway located next to the Nature Walk pocket park) out to the mouth of Newtown Creek at the East River.

The dredging is scheduled to take 6 weeks and will operate 24 hours a day during some of that period. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection has released the following update (PDF download):

Attached flyer in text:

From NYC Department of Environmental Protection:


Beginning the week of March 31, 2014 and continuing for approximately 6 weeks, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be dredging Newtown Creek. The following is a brief overview of the work scheduled and potential community impacts and mitigation measures.


The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest in the City and operates, like most plants, through an activated sludge process. In order for this treatment process to work, waste sludge must be removed every day. Presently, waste sludge is piped to a storage tank near the East River in Greenpoint and then transferred to a sludge vessel (boat) for delivery to Wards Island for further processing.

DEP needs to demolish the sludge storage tank to make way for new affordable housing. A new sludge dock has been built at Whale Creek, adjacent to the Newtown Creek plant, and sludge vessels will soon receive waste sludge there instead of the existing East River tank and dock. However, to navigate to the new dock, maintenance dredging must be done along Newtown Creek to remove sediment and debris which accumulates in the waterway.


  • Dredge operations are expected to start in Whale Creek and then move west along Newtown Creek towards the Pulaski Bridge to the mouth of Newtown Creek.
  • Operations will be performed initially in 12-hour shifts, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. As operations move into Newtown Creek, work will run 24 hours per day in order to minimize impacts to marine traffic.
  • All work will be performed from barges located on the water with all required Coast Guard lighting and signage for safe boating.


During the dredging operations, hydrogen sulfide gas trapped in the sediment may be released. This gas has a strong odor of rotten eggs. DEP will monitor for odor and take preventive measures to control the releases..


Please contact Shane Ojar, Director of Community Affairs at 718-595-4148 or via e-mail at To report a noise or odor complaint, please call 311.

So, if you smell something, say something and call 311 with any odor, noise or pollution complaints. Read more at Brownstoner Queens, Queens Chronicle and Gothamist.

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

Coney Island’s about to get its first custom roller coaster since the Cyclone was built in 1927.

The Thunderbolt opens Memorial Weekend, 2014. Rendering: New York City Economic Development Corporation via NY Daily News

The new attraction is part of the Coney Island Revitalization Plan, which the city hopes will create thousands of jobs while expanding and preserving the historic Coney Island amusement district, as announced in a NYCEDC press release.

Luna Park’s new Thunderbolt roller coaster will include a loop for the first time since 1910. Rendering: Zamperla via The Wall Street Journal

The Thunderbolt’s 56 mile-per-hour speeds will spin riders on extreme vertical lifts, drops and corkscrews with a stomach-churning 100-foot vertical loop to boot.

Want a preview before opening day? Take this virtual ride posted by lunaparkNYC


The modern, steel Thunderbolt will be built on its historic site, where the original wooden thrill-ride dizzied visitors from the 1920s to the 1980s. The new coaster will be next to Luna Park, near the restored B&B Carousell and Steeplechase Plaza. Read more at NYCEDC, NYDN, WSJ …

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

Present Architecture has designed a proposal that they hope will change the way we handle our garbage.

“Green Loop” rendering via Present Architecture.

As Gizmodo reports, “We send trucks millions of miles every year, creating traffic, noise pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, all of this so that our waste can be landfilled, where it then rots and creates even more greenhouse gas,” explain the designers at Present Architecture, the New York-based firm behind the proposal.

“It’s a big, dirty problem.”

“Green Loop” rendering via Present Architecture.

Their idea is based on building a network of artificial islands called “Green Loops” in our area waterways, that would house dozens of organic waste (aka food scraps) processing sites within, topped with a giant 12-acre park.

“Green Loop” rendering via Present Architecture.

The separated organics would be collected and trucked to these processing centers where it would be composted on an industrial scale.

The designers say these island facilities will “create a network of composting parks processing our organic waste (30% of our residential waste stream), while adding 125 acres of public park land.”

Read more at Gizmodo here and see the proposal at Present here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

For more than 100 years there was just one ferry service between Manhattan and Staten Island. The Staten Island Ferry’s familiar orange boats have plied the Upper New York Bay, diligently transporting passengers back-and-forth for generations.

Staten Island Ferry. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

Now with the recently announced development projects scheduled for the ‘forgotten borough’, the Staten Island Ferry will soon be joined by other ferry boats, as reported in Crain’s New York Business.

Passengers waiting to disembark. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

City ferry operators are looking to expand their services in anticipation of transporting millions of tourists to new attractions like the NY Wheel, Empire Outlets – a huge shopping center and baseball games and concerts planned for Staten Island’s Yankee Stadium right next to St. George Ferry Terminal.

Rendering via New York Wheel

Crain’s New York Business:  6 million annual visitors [will] begin flocking to sleepy Staten Island in two years – when the attractions are expected to be completed – every major ferry company in the city, including New York Water Taxi, BillyBey Ferry Co., Statue Cruises and Seastreak, will be dropping off riders at a dock just a short distance from the St. George Terminal, where the Staten Island Ferry lands.

Rendering via New York Wheel

Staten Island could become a major tourist destination by 2016, if the developers’ vision is realized. Combined, the two projects represent a $580 million investment. The New York Wheel, a 630-foot structure, will be the largest such attraction in the world, featuring glass-enclosed observation capsules that hold up to 40 people for a 38-minute ride.

Empire Outlets rendering via NYC EDC.

The wheel will be able to accommodate as many as 1,400 passengers at a time, while Empire Outlets will include more than 100 designer stores, restaurants, a banquet facility and a 200-room hotel.

Staten Island Ferry. Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

At night, the wheel will put on a show using $8 million worth of LED lighting that will act as a beacon, drawing people to St. George and the waters around it. Read more from Crain’s New York Business here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

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