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14th Annual City of Water Day
July 10, 2021
In celebration of the metropolitan region’s 1,600 miles of coastline, the 14th annual City of Water Day will take place Saturday, July 10. Organized by the Waterfront Alliance and the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program (HEP), City of Water Day will offer educational activities, entertainment, and opportunities for recreational boating at dozens of waterfronts in New York and New Jersey. Experience the BlueLine—the Future High Tide Line—with Free Boating, Workshops, and Entertainment at Dozens of Simultaneous In Your Neighborhood Festivities Around the Region. With both in-person and online programs, City of Water Day seeks to raise awareness of the region’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. Today, more than one million people in our region face direct risks from coastal flooding.
City of Water Day In Your Neighborhood will take place on and near the water on July 10 in all five boroughs, New Jersey, and Westchester. Local organizations and agencies are offering free activities, including hands-on workshops such as water quality monitoring, and kayaking, rowing, sailing, paddleboarding, and fishing opportunities. From water sampling at Roberto Clemente State Park on the Harlem River in the Bronx, to a family waterfront walk in Red Hook, to birdwatching along the Rahway River in Linden, New Jersey, there’s something for everyone on City of Water Day. Check this interactive map to see all In Your Neighborhood events scheduled throughout the region, with more added every day.
“For 14 years, City of Water Day has opened people’s eyes to the magnificence of our harbor and waterways and reminded us of the vitality of this precious resource, whether we’re talking about ships or oysters,” said Cortney Koenig Worrall, President and CEO of the Waterfront Alliance. “At the same time, City of Water Day has a serious message: we have a shared responsibility to create a climate-resilient harbor that is safe, healthy, accessible, and equitable. Join us as we revel in the waters around us on this day and every day.”
“We are excited to be working with so many wonderful community partners on City of Water Day,” said Elizabeth Balladares, Outreach Coordinator for the New York–New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program. “From the Raritan River to the Harlem River, and dozens of places in between, local waterfront organizations are inviting the public to come out and celebrate our shared waters and their work towards a resilient future.”
This year, NYC Ferry is the official transportation sponsor of City of Water Day. “NYC Ferry is committed to supporting New York’s waterways throughout the five boroughs, and we are thrilled to be the official transportation sponsor of City of Water Day, providing easy access for attendees to explore the many In Your Neighborhood events happening throughout the city,” said Jeffrey Brault, Director of Public Affairs at City Experiences, operator of NYC Ferry.
At the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan, free activities from 11am to 5pm on City of Water Day include self-guided tours of the 1885 tall ship Wavertree and demonstrations by Bowne & Co. printers using the Seaport Museum’s working collection of 19th-century printing presses, on the steps of 209 Water Street. The Seaport Museum will also host a Mobile Community Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic at Pier 16. “The South Street Seaport Museum is an ardent advocate for climate resiliency and we are proud to once again partner with our friends at Waterfront Alliance for City of Water Day,” said President and CEO Capt. Jonathan Boulware. “Now more than ever it is a crucial time to promote awareness of our waterfronts and the threat climate change poses to our great City. On City of Water Day and on all of our open days, we invite visitors to explore the Seaport Museum, including the 1885 sailing cargo ship Wavertree, Pier 16, and the Bowne letterpress offices. Visiting the Museum helps visitors to understand how New York grew to be the global metropolis it is today.”
At the Jamaica Bay Festival, family-friendly activities include a guided ferry ride from Wall Street to Rockaway, fishing, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, nature walks, and games. For the adventurous, a kayak tour led by a National Park Service ranger will paddle from Canarsie Pier to Shirley Chisholm State Park. “For the fourth year, the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy is proud to partner with organizations throughout Jamaica Bay to celebrate the bay and access to the water during the Jamaica Bay Festival on City of Water Day. The festival is an opportunity to bring communities around Jamaica Bay together to celebrate this important urban estuary. On this special day, paddlers from Brooklyn and Queens will kick off the festival meeting by water at Sunset Cove for a kayak parade around Jamaica Bay to highlight the importance of waterfront access and a clean and healthy estuary, followed by a full day of free activities for all to enjoy,” said Alex Zablocki, Executive Director, Jamaica BayRockaway Parks Conservancy.
“For City of Water Day at the Hoboken waterfront, we’ll work with local organizations and the City of Hoboken to encourage the community to get outside and enjoy the public waterfront, with activities, including kayaking, paddle-boarding, and fishing, that will promote waterfront access for all and develop a connection and commitment to the Hudson River,” said Heather Gibbons, Program Director for Fund for a Better Waterfront (FBW), host of the event. “We’ll start the day off with a tour of the Central Waterfront by FBW’s Executive Director Ron Hine, followed by a festive march to illustrate the remaining segments of Hoboken’s public waterfront park that remain unfinished. FBW’s own work over the past three decades has focused on creating a fully connected and undeniably public park along the full length of Hoboken’s Hudson River shoreline. We’re grateful for the opportunity to once again join our community partners, the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse and Resilience Paddle Sports, as well as the City of Hoboken, to celebrate Hoboken’s public waterfront.”
At West Harlem Piers Park at West 130th Street and the Hudson River, staff members from the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and WE ACT for Environmental Justice will team up to offer activities for children and adults. Count on seeing fascinating Hudson River creatures in tanks, get involved with water testing, and learn about community access to the river. “Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is thrilled to be a part of this year’s City of Water Day!” said Program Director Ruthie Gold. “Through our hands-on programming on City of Water Day in partnership with WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and every day, we strive to connect people to the extraordinary Hudson River. By doing so, we hope to inspire people to protect the river and promote its resiliency in the face of climate change, environmental injustices, and other challenges.”
After City of Water Day, Waterfront Alliance’s call for climate action continues, with Art at the BlueLine, an outdoor exhibition presented for the second year in partnership with The Howard Hughes Corporation®. At Art at the BlueLine, which opens on July 14 and runs through August 2 in Lower Manhattan’s Seaport, three works of art will offer a creative lens into the realities of climate change, coastal resilience, waterfront access, and environmental justice. Details about Art at the BlueLine will be forthcoming; artist previews are available on the Art at the BlueLine webpage. The Waterfront Alliance inspires and effects resilient, revitalized, and accessible coastlines for all communities. https://waterfrontalliance.org/city-of-water-day/art-at-the-blueline/.