Brooklyn Boro

Governors Island to be open year-round, with expanded ferry access from Brooklyn

September 30, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Governors Island. Photo by Trey Pentecost
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Governors Island will be open to the public year-round starting Nov. 1, the Trust for Governors Island and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. New Yorkers will be able to access Governors Island’s open space, cultural programming and recreational resources beyond its traditional May-through-October season for the first time.

In addition, NYC Ferry will serve Governors Island daily via the South Brooklyn Route, expanding direct access from Red Hook, Atlantic Ave/Brooklyn Bridge Park-Pier 6 and DUMBO/Fulton Ferry, as well as Corlears Hook on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

“Governors Island has been an oasis for New Yorkers for nearly two decades, and I’m so pleased that it will now become a destination in all seasons,” said Vicki Been, deputy mayor for housing and economic development. “The Governors Island team has been working hard to expand the type and number of partner organizations on the island — not to mention the Climate Solutions Center we have in the works — and this year-round public ferry access is a critical part of realizing our full vision for this green, cultural, and educational hub.”

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Clare Newman, president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, said, “This announcement is an exciting moment in realizing our vision to increase equitable access to this remarkable resource and is an important step in realizing Governors Island’s full potential.”

“We are pleased to support Governors Island as it opens year-round to the public with our expanded NYC Ferry service later this year. Waterway transportation is key to our recovery and opening Governors Island 12 months of the year is another illustration of New York City’s wonderful future,” said Rachel Loeb, president and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Clare Newman, CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. Photo courtesy of govisland.com

Tuesday’s announcement marks a significant milestone in the transformation of Governors Island into a remarkable resource for New Yorkers. Following its transfer from federal to local control in 2003, the City of New York and the Trust for Governors Island have worked to invest in expanding public access to the historic former military base, which has traditionally welcomed visitors in the summer months but has long been envisioned as a destination accessible year-round.

“It is wonderful that Governors Island will soon be open year-round for the public seven days a week,” said U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, who represents northwest and north-central Brooklyn as well as the Lower East Side. “I am even more thrilled that regular weekday ferry service will be provided through a NYC Ferry route from Lower East Side Corlears Hook and three key Brooklyn locations, DUMBO/Fulton Ferry, Pier 6/Atlantic Avenue and Red Hook/Atlantic Basin to allow more Lower East Siders and Brooklynites than ever quick access to all that Governors Island has to offer.”

A child plays on a swing on Governors Island. Photo by Kreg Holt
A child plays on a swing on Governors Island. Photo by Kreg Holt

“In recent years, Governors Island has become an invaluable public space in New York, offering a needed respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, as well as a wide array of recreational opportunities for the whole family to enjoy. That’s why I’m thrilled that it will be open to the public year-round, with ferry service seven days a week to make it accessible for Brooklynites from every background,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Governors Island has undergone a transformation over the last decade, including the creation of a resilient 43-acre park, a growing arts and cultural program and remarkable growth in audience. Nearly one million visitors came to the island in 2019.

In June 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island announced a competition to establish a Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island. The City is currently seeking an anchor university and research institution through a Request for Expressions of Interest.

“The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School’s community of students, faculty and families, as well as the 1.1 million students of the New York City Department of Education, will benefit immensely from year-long access to the environmental classroom known as Governors Island,” said Jeff Chetirko, principal of the high school, which is located on the island.


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  1. Shameless. The “Trust” for GI grossly misled the public during the review process for the recently approved massively inappropriate upzoning on Governors Island by repeatedly claiming that that high-rise high-density development was necessary to facilitate year-round public access to the island. Nothing new has been built yet, here is the access.