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City seeks public input on improving 520 miles of waterfront

Governors Island will host New York City's Waterfront

Governors Island will host New York City's Waterfront Planning Camp on Aug. 17, where New Yorkers can voice their ideas for fortifying the shore and city against future storms. Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/sangaku

New Yorkers can weigh in with their ideas for the city’s 520 miles of waterfront at a free Waterfront Planning Camp on Governors Island on Aug. 17.

The city is looking for public input as it puts together its Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, due for release at the end of 2020. The plan, which must be updated every 10 years by law, is focused on making the waterfront more accessible for residents while fortifying it to weather future storms.

Activities at Nolan Park on Governors Island include boat tours, workshops on living and playing at the waterfront as well as storm preparedness. The event starts at noon and runs until 4 p.m. Ferries to Governors Island are free before noon.

“New Yorkers love their waterfront and we’re using it more than ever,” Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago said in a statement. “To make this precious resource even more enjoyable, accessible and resilient, we’re going to the experts – New Yorkers themselves.”

For decades, large swaths of waterfront across the five boroughs were filled with factories and manufacturing centers, cutting it off from the public. But as those large structures were torn down or transformed into housing, there has been a push from environmentalists, lawmakers and the public to add more shorefront parkland for recreation along with kayaking and other water sports.

For example, in Manhattan, the city Planning Department said about 90 acres of new waterfront parkland has been created since 1992, including Harlem River Park and Riverside Park South.

The agency also has an online survey and has scheduled other events, including “Listening Sessions” with local organizations in the fall. For more information go to the DCP website or email waterfrontplan@planning.nyc.gov.

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