KAYAKS, CANOES AND MORE AT THE 79TH STREET BOAT BASIN
Did you know that over 2,500 boats dock at city parks each year? Parks & Recreation operates 11 boating marinas citywide, including the Boat Basin at Riverside Park and the World’s Fair Marina at Flushing Meadow Park.
On June 13, Commissioner Benepe, along with City Council Member Gale Brewer, joined kayakers, boaters, the Urban Park Rangers canoe team, the Parks and Fire Department Marine Divisions, and over a hundred others for Launch 2003, an open marina day at the Boat Basin.
While captaining a Parks canoe, Commissioner Benepe cut the ribbon for our first kayak and canoe launch at the Boat Basin. He also kicked off open public hours on the 370 foot pier at A-Dock. As the ribbon was cut, the Fire Department Fireboat wowed the crowd with a red, white and blue water display. There were rubber sailing boats for kids, water safety instruction from the Auxiliary Coast Guard, and free boat rides for all.
Designed to be the "Recreational Boating Gateway to New York City" in 1937, the Boat Basin in Riverside Park has been home to New York City boaters. For many years, a limited number of boats held year round access to the Boat Basin, limiting access for seasonal and recreational boating.
The Boat Basin is now returning to its original mission. Since 1990, no additional year round permits were issued, and 70% of the marina’s 170 slips and moorings are used by seasonal recreational boaters. This summer, a new pile arrangement project will introduce four additional seasonal slips. As the availability of private marinas decreases, the City’s public marinas will serve an even more important role in supporting the boating community and life on the water. Of special importance is kayaking which has grown tremendously in popularity in the last decade.
The Boat Basin also plays host to many recreational events including the first National Dragon Boat Competition on the Hudson on August 2 and 3, and the NYC Triathlon on August 10.
The Flushing Meadows Park World’s Fair Marina is also experiencing a rebirth. Abandoned by a contractor in 1999, the Marina is now thriving under the care of Parks Marine Division, a part of 5-Boro Operations. Profitable and growing, World’s Fair support almost 300 boats with plans to expand its services.
Parks & Recreation thanks the Fire Department Marine Division, NY Kayak, Downtown Boathouse, Ed and Regina Bacon, Michael Glass, and Women in Canoes for their support of this event. The efforts of Dan Froehlich, Greg Smith, Susan Friedman, and the Manhattan Special Events team contributed to a great day of festivities.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright."