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AP Photo via The Telegraph

Last October, we were hit hard by Super Storm Sandy, which affected many vulnerable spots all around the harbor. Working Harbor Committee ahas developed a new series of narrated Hidden Harbor Tours® that focus on climate change and protective measures from sea-level rise being discussed by government, private institutions and citizens.

Presenting Beyond Sandy, Keeping The Conversation Alivea series of special Hidden Harbor Tours® exploring the many issues and plans arising from Super Storm Sandy, from the Working Harbor Committee. Select expert speakers from government agencies, private industry, think tanks and universities, will discuss ideas like massive sea gates, building beach dunes, wetlands restoration, modification of flood zones, re-imagining our infrastructure, updated flood mapping and much more.

Tour 1

Tour 2

From PRWEB: Starting May 21, 2013 through September, tri-state area residents and visitors are in for a true adventure this summer as they embark and enjoy Hidden Harbor Tours® aboard the luxury yacht Zephyr, and are taken behind the scenes to see the inner workings of the bustling New York Harbor. New for the 2013 summer season is the tour series: “Beyond Sandy, Keeping The Conversation Alive” with noted speakers and charities onboard (see website for full list). The exciting and educational tours are presented by the Working Harbor Committee (non-profit) in partnership with the New York Water Taxi/Circle Line Downtown.Tuesday sailings depart at 6:30pm from Pier 16 South Street Seaport, New York, New York (Fulton Street and South Street).

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman /

“Beyond Sandy” tours provide themed sailings as follows:

  • Tour 1: High Seas on the Inner Harbor: From Wall Street to Snug Harbor;
  • Tour 2: Fire, Floods and Floating Containers: East River – Hell Gate to Governors Island;

Additionally, Hidden Harbor Tours will feature its popular Newark Bay Tour and North River Tour on select Tuesday sailings as well. Pricing: Adults $39, Seniors $32, Children ages 3-12 $25, Under age 3 are free. Ticket information and full tour schedule visit:, 212-742-1969 by phone or Zephyr, a luxury yacht, features two fully enclosed decks, plus an open-air roof deck – all decks boast panoramic views. A portion of the ticket price goes to the Working Harbor Committee to support its programming.

Featured Speakers: Captain John Doswell, Working Harbor Committee; Chris Ward, Executive Vice President, Dragados USA; formerly with The Port Authority New York & New Jersey; Helena Durst, President, New York Water Taxi; Lucy Ambrosino, Outreach Manager of Port Commerce, The Port Authority New York & New Jersey; Dr. Philip Orton, legendary research scientist, Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey; and Jill Eisenhard, Executive Director, Red Hook Initiative. Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

With regret we have had to postpone the May 26 Newtown Creek Tour until the Fall.
See details here.

Tour season is here! We have been working on a slew of new tours for you this season. On Sunday, 26th of May, Working Harbor Committee presents the Hidden Harbor Newtown Creek Tour with Mitch Waxman, WHC’s official photographer and Newtown Creek Alliance Historian. Mitch has written all about it in his blog post below. See incredible things, learn new facts, explore the heart of the industrial revolution. Join us on a comfortable NY Water Taxi for our 3-hour narrated tour of Newtown Creek. Come be amazed!

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

On Sunday -the 26th of May- the Working Harbor Committee is producing and offering a boat tour of the Newtown Creek for any interested parties to attend. A special emphasis on the waterway’s storied history and maritime legacy will be made.

I’m going to be doing the history part, speaking in my capacity as the Newtown Creek Alliance Historian, and am tasked with highlighting the various points of interest encountered along the route. Anticipated to be some three hours in length, this boat tour will be delving some three miles inland, proceeding to the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge crossing English Kills in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

The Maritime History of Newtown Creek is one largely forgotten in these decadent times, but even now an odd tugboat and barge might be spied making their way down the waterway on any given day. Property owners were considered to have been blessed by some of the finest industrial bulkheads in the world a mere century ago, yet many of the businesses based along the Creek today ignore this invaluable resource, allowing their waterfront property to decay and decline.

Nevertheless, a staggering amount of maritime traffic is still observed here, and towing companies such as Reinauer, K-Sea, DonJon, and Poling and Cutler are regular visitors.

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

Vast operations will be witnessed by those onboard, many of which are involved in the scrap metal and recyclables trade. Responsible for an enormous amount of cross harbor shipping, companies such as SimsMetal are heavily reliant on the maritime trades for their economic success.

Not all that long ago, Newtown Creek carried a greater tonnage of cargo than the entire Mississippi River.

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

An active and thriving industrial zone in the center of New York City, from the water one can truly grasp the sheer scale of Newtown Creek’s busy waterfront. Normally hidden by high fences and obscured by street facing structures, the intensity of the Newtown Creek is laid bare before the admiring gaze of first time visitor and veteran urban explorer alike.

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

A tributary of the estuarine East River, Newtown Creek extends some 3.8 miles from its junction with the more familiar waterway, and provides demarcation for the currently undefended border of much of Brooklyn and Queens. Named to the Federal Superfund list, the Creek suffers from a history of environmental degradation and municipal neglect.

An era of great change is upon the Newtown Creek, and this trip will be one of your last chances to see it in its current form.

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

We will see four moveable bridges, and this year will be your last chance to see the static Kosciuszko Bridge as the NYS DOT has indicated that construction on its replacement will begin as early as the Fall of 2013.

Photo: ©Mitch Waxman

Along it’s banks, great fortunes have risen.

Amongst others- Peter Cooper (BO Railroad, Canton Iron, and Cooper Union), Charles Pratt (Astral Oil, and Pratt University), and ultimately John D. Rockefeller (Standard Oil)- all grew richer than the dreams of avarice in this place. Alongside them, the darkest mills of the industrial revolution- rendering plants, yeast distilleries, bone blackers, and acid factories provided tens of thousands of jobs to the immigrant populations of Brooklyn and Queens. Today- National Grid, BP, Amoco, ExxonMobil, and a host of other multinational companies still maintain an enormous investment in this valuable industrial canal.

Upcoming tour:  Hidden Harbor Tours: Newtown Creek tour with Mitch Waxman.

On May 26th, Mitch shares his unique point of view and deep understanding of the past, present and future conditions of the Newtown Creek as the narrator and expedition leader for this years’ Hidden Harbor Tours: Newtown Creek tour with Mitch Waxman.

Our NY Water Taxi leaves from South Street Seaport at 10 a.m. (sharp) for a three hour tour of the Newtown Creek. From the East River we’ll move into the Newtown Creek where we’ll explore explore vast amounts of maritime infrastructure, see many movable bridges and discover the very heart of the Hidden Harbor.

Limited seating available, get your tickets today.

Tickets $59, trip leaves Pier 17 at South Street Seaport at 10a.m. sharp.

We will be traveling in a comfortable NY Water Taxi vessel with indoor and outdoor seating. There will be refreshments and snacks available for purchase at the bar.

For a full listing and schedule of tours and events, click here

reblogged by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee via Mitch Waxman, Newtown Pentacle

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