FISHERMAN’S PARADISE ON STATEN ISLAND
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On Saturday, September 20, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe opened Ocean Breeze Pier on Staten Island. The new $9 million pier at Midland Beach is the largest steel and concrete recreational pier on the Atlantic Ocean built in 100 years in the New York region. Former Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari joined the opening at a press conference held on the pier.
"Ocean Breeze Pier is one of the most exciting waterfront enhancements the city has seen in decades," Mayor Bloomberg said. "The completion of the pier will enable thousands of New Yorkers to enjoy the Staten Island waterfront year-round, and illustrates one of the top priorities of this administration – the revitalization of the City’s waterfront properties for recreational use."
"On behalf of all Staten Islanders, I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership in completing the Midland Beach Fishing Pier, ensuring that it serves as a wonderful recreational resource for our residents," Borough President James P. Molinaro said. "The grand opening of the pier marks the extraordinary teamwork between City government and the surrounding community. The result is a spectacular T-shaped pier with special features for fishing and enjoying the scenic waterfront. I applaud the Parks Department for achieving a dramatic design that is the pride of our Borough. In my view, it is the finest fishing pier in the entire region."
"This new pier is a wonderful example of the way that waterfront parks are putting New Yorkers back in touch with the "wilderness" that surrounds them," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Benepe. "Staten Island has more parkland than any borough, and no other borough has a recreational pier like this one."
The new three-tiered pier stretches 835 feet long and stands approximately 11 feet above high water. The pier is constructed of 27,000 square feet of reinforced concrete decking supported by 184 steel piles. The pier’s undulating shape reflects the natural curve of the shoreline. The pier’s shape provides niches for World’s Fair benches made from recycled plastic slats. These special seating areas have interpretive signs, inspiring appreciation for the history and ecosystem of the waterfront.
The end of the pier is outfitted with fishing rod holders, bait cleaning tables and customized fish cleaning stations complete with running water. New drinking fountains, a string of classic light poles extending the length of the pier and an ornamental railing have also been installed. Over 160 intricate bronze medallions depicting ocean life such as lobsters and crabs have been embedded into the new decorative pavement that is shaped to complement the pier's scalloped edge. As the visitor gets closer to the water’s edge they are greeted by animals that live deeper in the sea such as Humback Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, and Sand Tiger Sharks.
New Yorkers enter the pier through an elaborate plaza with benches, decorative paving and new walkways. The new landscaping includes trees, shrubs and grasses that are indigenous to coastal shorefronts. A grand staircase and ramp connect the plaza to the boardwalk, comfort station and pier. To accommodate the new visitors, a new 106-car parking lot has also been constructed.
The next phase of the project will provide four shade structures and comfort station. One adjacent to the comfort station, two framing the pier entrance on the boardwalk and the fourth located at the end of the pier.
The $9 million construction of Ocean Breeze Pier is financed with $6 million in mayoral funds, $2.5 million from the Staten Island Borough President and a $500,000 grant from the State Department of Environmental Conservation. This project was funded through the efforts of former Mayor Giuliani and former Staten Island Borough President Molinari.
The pier was designed by Structural Engineer Reza Mashayekhi, Architect Richard Robbins, and Landscape Architect Ricardo Hinkle
On the opening day it was the Mayor who the first fish off the new pier but it was one of our own Parkies John Gaweda, who caught the prize-winning fish at the angling contest later that day.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"And then you suddenly cried, and turned away."