Occu-pirates Sail the Hudson, Dolphin Watch

 

I tagged along with members of Occupy Wall Street’s marine contingent Saturday as they sailed out of the 79th Street Boat Basin bound for Staten Island. Read the full story here.

Several crew members remained on board after the tour, flying protest banners and drumming well into Sunday. They anchored 20-30 yards southwest of the derelict 69th Street Transfer Bridge, an area beyond the boat basin mooring field the protesters had been prohibited from demonstrating in by the Parks Department. Around 3:00 Sunday afternoon, crew member John Eustor shot this footage of a dolphin swimming around the boat.

 

 

A fellow disenfranchised American? Crew-members speculated that it may have been drawn to the boat by the vibrations from their drum playing. A number of people photographed the animal as it made it’s way toward New York Harbor. Sadly, a dead dolphin was found floating in the marina at Chelsea Piers several days later. Many assume it was the one spotted on Sunday afternoon. Results of a necropsy by the Riverhead Foundation are forthcoming. Read more here.

Making Waves

Mayor Bloomberg rolled out his $3 billion dollar blueprint for New York City’s waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park this week. Vision 2020 is a sweeping plan to connect New Yorkers to the city’s rivers and beaches by developing facilities for transportation and recreation. It will also promote maritime industry through major renovation and construction projects and attract investors to the waterfront by simplifying complex development regulations. One hundred and thirty projects will be launched over the next three years as part of the plan’s Action Agenda. Manhattan’s Hudson River shore is slated for the following capital improvements:

  • Rehabilitation of the dormant Dyckman Street Marina to include recreation, comfort stations and a restaurant.
  • Completion of the Dyckman Ramp, Lighthouse Link and Battery Bikeway of the Hudson Greenway.
  • Reconstruction of the pedestrian bridge at West 181st Street.
  • Construction of a kayak launch on the sand beach at 170th Street.
  • Activation of West Harlem Piers Park as a boat and ferry launch.
  • Restoration of the 79th Street rotunda and fountain court.
  • Rehabilitation of the derelict 69th Street Transfer Bridge as a public pier.
  • Reconstruction of Pier 97 at 57th Street.
  • Reconstruction of the bulkhead between 39th and 43rd Streets
  • Development of a multi-use pier including a public market, art gallery and rooftop park at Pier 57.
  • Completion of the esplanade between Laight and North Moore Streets at Piers 25 & 26.
  • Funding will come from a mix of public and private sources. The city will issue RFPs (Requests for Proposals) for more than twenty waterfront development projects totaling $150 million with an eye toward leveraging private investment to support the construction and maintenance of public waterfront space.

    Council Speaker Christine Quinn, credited with shepherding the plan through to completion, emphasized the 13,000 maritime construction jobs and 3,400 permanent maritime industrial jobs the plan will create, along with the $1.6 million in revenue it will generate annually. She also noted the fuel efficiency of transporting cargo by water, citing a recent study showing that barges are six times more efficient than trucks on a per-ton basis.

    Industrial projects planned for the next three years include the renovation of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and improvement of rail-to-barge access points at the Rail Yard in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

    On the green front, the plan allocates $50 million to waterfront restoration projects such as the Bronx River Greenway and more than a billion in upgrades at six wastewater treatment plants.

    All projects will be subject to new city guidelines for planning, design, construction and maintenance developed and overseen by City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, known for her exacting standards for developers.

    View a new citywide map of publicly accessible waterfront spaces here.

    Hudson River Greenway Complete

    Last week City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe cut the ribbon on a short stretch of waterfront greenway connecting 83rd and 91st Streets. The path is the final link in a pedestrian path stretching 12 miles from Battery Park to Dyckman Street. The long-awaited extension eliminates the need to take a half-mile detour through Riverside Park that has for years confounded strollers, rollerbladers, skaters, runners and bikers making their way along the river. Mayor Bloomberg was among those credited with bringing the uninterrupted greenway to completion by allocating funds for most of the nearly $16 million project.