New York City

Celebrate ‘City of Water Day’ this Saturday

Boat tours, ecology and a cardboard kayak race

July 16, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Kayaking at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo by Will Hasty
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The beautiful city! the city of hurried and sparkling waters!
the city of spires and masts!
The city nested in bays! my city!
Walt Whitman

New York City is still the same city of “harried and sparkling waters” that it was in Walt Whitman’s day. Celebrate our beautiful waters on Saturday with City of Water Day, featuring six hours of free activities on the East River, the Hudson, and canals and creeks.

More than 50 organizations are offering events including boat tours, a fair on Governors Island, music and the enthralling Cardboard Kayak Race. Organizers say the day, sponsored by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and its partners, draws thousands of people from throughout the metro area. Events takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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In Brooklyn, residents can go kayaking, rowing and sailing, attend ecological presentations, pilot miniature remote-controlled boats and more. (Local events listed below.)

Nearly 2,000 seats on free boat tours will be offered this year. Tour boats will depart from one of three locations: Yankee Pier on Governors Island, Pier 13 at Shipyard Marina in Hoboken or Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Tickets are available here.)

And if you really want to get your feet wet, a flotilla of kayaks, canoes, and rowboats will be self-powering to Governors Island on Saturday. To join them, contact a local boathouse for practice and information. In Brooklyn, these include the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, North Brooklyn Boat Club and Red Hook Boaters.

The hugely entertaining Cardboard Kayak Race will begin at noon on Governors Island at Kayak Hill near Pier 101. Before the race, teams are given two hours to build the best water craft they can with the materials provided. Two members of each team will then paddle their creation to against their competitors’ cardboard kayaks. The race will begin at 2:30 at Pier 101. Awards go to best design, most unique design, fastest time, most ambitious team and most intrepid paddler.

While boats that disintegrate mid-race will be disqualified, an award will go to the “fastest sinking” craft.

Visit for more details.


City of Water Day events in Brooklyn

* Kaiser Park (Coney Island Creek; Neptune Avenue between Bayview and West 33rd Street; Neptune Avenue and 29th Street). Ecological presentations, touch tanks, waterfront cleanup

* Gowanus Bay Terminal (699 Columbia St.). Open house at the Cement Silo Vessel M/V Loujaine and Yankee ferry

* Bushwick Inlet Park (North 15th Street to North 9th Street along Kent Avenue). Water-to-land event, environmental education

* Gowanus Canal (at Whole Foods, 214 Third Street). Pilot miniature remote-controlled boats and aquatic robots equipped with video cameras and environmental sensors

* Sebago Canoe Club (Jamaica Bay; Paerdegat Basin, foot of Avenue N). Kayaking, sailing, canoeing, rowing

* Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse (Pier 2, 150 Furman St.). Kayaking


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