Photo via Flickr cc
This Saturday is the 11th annual City of Water Day, a free festival organized by the Waterfront Alliance to get people to, on, and in New York Harbor and its surrounding waterways. The most anticipated event this year is the chance to access the normally off-limits Brooklyn Bridge Beach, located just north of Pier 17 in the Financial District. For years, Lower Manhattan civic groups have been advocating for the small, sandy beach under the Brooklyn Bridge to be opened to the public, and though it doesn’t look like that’ll be happening any time soon, the Alliance worked with the NYC EDC to grant access for this one special day.
The unrealized Brooklyn Bridge Beach plan, via WXY Architecture
Back in 2016, the city nixed plans to open Brooklyn Bridge Beach to the public, citing costs, choppy waters, and pollution as the determining factors. After then-City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer set aside $7 million for the project, WXY Architecture created a proposal that included a kayak launch, terraced seating, fishing area, and concession stand. It’s not clear if the project will be revived, but the Economic Development Corporation, who is opening the beach this weekend, is the same agency who conducted the feasibility study in 2016.
A past Cardboard Kayak Race, via Waterfront Alliance
This year, the Howard Hughes Corporation is sponsoring the festival hub at Piers 16 and 17 at the South Street Seaport, just below Brooklyn Bridge Beach where a Cardboard Kayak Race and free kayak lessons will take place. Other activities include narrated PortNYC boat tours along the South Street Seaport Museum Street of Ships and elsewhere at the city’s shores, a waterfront activity fair, and a slew of “In Your Neighborhood” activities around the boroughs. View the full schedule of events HERE >>