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City of Water Day, region’s largest water celebration, unites Brooklyn activists on Saturday

Transforming Brooklyn waterfronts, opening access, calling for collective action

July 13, 2023 Special to Brooklyn Eagle
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BROOKLYN — The Waterfront Alliance and the New York-New Jersey Harber & Estuary Program (HEP) proudly announced City of Water Day, a celebration that unites communities, advocates, and policymakers for a common cause: ensuring safe and inclusive access to our magnificent waterfronts. From Newtown Creek in North Brooklyn to Jamaica Bay in Southern Brooklyn, and beyond, New York City has more than 500 miles of waterfront interaction with its residents.

City of Water Day, taking place this year on Saturday, is a region-wide day organized by Waterfront Alliance and HEP, to champion climate-resilient New York and New Jersey harbors. Dozens of communities across all five boroughs, Westchester and Rockland counties, and New Jersey will host more than 65 free events on and near the water that celebrate the importance of a resilient and equitably shared waterfront. From free kayaking to rowing to hands-on workshops, these events offer community members opportunities for fun, education, and access to their local waterfront. Read here for a complete breakdown of Brooklyn events on City of Water Day 2023.

As celebrants gather at shorelines throughout the metropolitan region, City of Water Day provides a platform for crucial conversations about coastal resilience and access. Recognizing the irreversible impacts of the climate crisis, the day urges us to confront this regional, national, and global emergency together. This year’s theme is to expand the capacity of New York and New Jersey communities to address climate change — in particular underserved communities.

City of Water Day invites both newcomers and long-time residents, seasoned sailors, and first-time explorers, to come together with friends and family to experience the joy of the water. It serves as a call to action, emphasizing our shared responsibility to safeguard our waterfronts, ensure equitable access, and create thriving, resilient communities. Participants can plan their travel to City of Water Day events using the NYC Ferry website or app.

“Approximately 3 million New Yorkers live around Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway peninsula — an area that also includes over 10,000 acres of public parklands, 12 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches, and 18,000 acres of open water, marsh islands,” said Terri Carta, Executive Director of Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. “Reconnecting with our waterfront has never been more important, whether for recreational activities, learning opportunities, health and wellness, jobs, or arts and culture. The Jamaica Bay Festival on City of Water Day presents an unparalleled collection of community-led events focused on connecting people with the vast natural and cultural resources of the area. More than 36 local partners will welcome new and regular audiences to partake in the diverse activities that make Jamaica Bay and Rockaway unique. There’s free fun for the whole family, from the annual kayak parade in the morning to a movie screening on the Boardwalk in the evening. Join us for a day of fun!”

The Waterfront Alliance is committed to transforming and protecting the waterfronts of our region. By convening diverse stakeholders, advocating for policy changes, and promoting sustainable practices, the Waterfront Alliance aims to build, transform, revitalize, and protect accessible waterfronts for all communities. For more information, visit

Hosted at the Hudson River Foundation, the New York – New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program (HEP) brings the benefits of the Clean Water Act to the people who live, work, and recreate on our shared waterways. Created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the request of the governors of New York and New Jersey, HEP is an ongoing effort to develop and implement a consensus-driven plan to protect, conserve and restore the estuary. HEP decisions and activities are carried out by staff and partners organized through committees and work groups. For more information, visit

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