FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 17, 2013
First-of-its-kind $1.1 Million Eco Dock Opens On The South Brooklyn Waterfront
Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White today joined Council Member Vincent Gentile, Chief of Staff to Borough President Markowitz Jon Paul Lupo, Assembly Member Alec Brook Krasny, Council Member Domenic Recchia, Council Member Peter Koo, President/Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance Roland Lewis and District Manager of Community Board 10 Josephine Beckmann, to cut the ribbon on South Brooklyn's first Eco Dock, a floating dock that rises and falls with the tide and has minimal impact on the surrounding natural resources. The $1.1 million Eco Dock was designed to be resilient in the event of a storm surge, and is the first in the city to provide both educational programming through "floating classrooms" as well as recreational boating opportunities. After the speaking program, students from Bay Ridge Prep, John Dewey and Fort Hamilton High Schools boarded the schooner Pioneer for a tour and a waterfront education program.
“Here at the new Bay Ridge Eco Dock, we’re connecting New Yorkers to the waterfront through both recreational and educational programming,” said Commissioner White. “And with lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy, we have built the dock to stand up to future storms. Parks is extremely grateful to Council Member Gentile for his support and enthusiasm for this project.”
“Soon we’ll be hearing the shouts of ‘Ahoy Bay Ridge, permission to come aboard’ from kayakers, boaters, and water lovers alike now that the new 69th Street Pier Eco Dock is complete,” said Borough President Markowitz. “A tip of the oar to Council Member Vincent Gentile for his help in putting the ‘bay’ in Bay Ridge by opening up one of Brooklyn’s greatest assets: our waterfront. Children will be able to experience the joys of the water, kayakers can paddle to their hearts’ content, and businesses can welcome pleasure cruisers, tourists and more. When it comes to Brooklyn’s waterfront, we’re ‘all aboard.’”
“Cutting the ribbon on New York City’s first Eco Dock is a dream come true: today, we are finally giving the community access to its waterfront again,” said Council Member Gentile. “We are not only cutting the ribbon on the dock this morning, we are cutting the ribbon on years of public programming, from educational and recreational activities to small-business boosting tourism cruises. As of today, our waterfront is open for business!”
“We commend the Parks Department and Council Member Gentile for their vision and leadership to connect the Ridge to the Bay and Bay to the Ridge,” said Roland Lewis. “We are thrilled that people in Bay Ridge and southern Brooklyn will now be able to enjoy access to the water, and that the great maritime community of New York and beyond will be able to use the Community Eco Dock as an invaluable resource.”
The project was funded with $819,000 from Council Member Gentile, $135,000 from Borough President Markowitz and $127,000 from Mayor Bloomberg. With lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy, the Bay Ridge Eco Dock was designed to be resilient to storm surges through reinforced fittings, additional pilings, and by an increase in the height of the piles, so that the dock will remain on its pilings in the event of an increase in sea level.
The upper floating concrete dock will accommodate a range of educational, sail and motor vessels, while the lower floating wooden dock will accommodate smaller and, when appropriate, human-powered craft. NYC Parks is partnering with the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance to provide staffing for the site as well as programming, which can include “floating classrooms” in environmental science, as well as educational programs in aquatic biology, water chemistry, water craft design, aquatic habitat monitoring, fishing instruction, and tidal observations. Fuzzy rope and oyster baskets hung from the sides and below will attract aquatic life and bring opportunities to study the marine life of New York’s waterfront and harbor.