Making a better waterfront for you!
We were founded to influence NYC's waterfront revitalization. We do that via advocacy and by creating experiences for you!
PortSide reveals and explores the potential of the waterways. We create programs and services to bring the community ashore and the community afloat closer together -- for the benefit of all. Since 2006, our chief asset in these efforts has been the historic ship MARY A. WHALEN. We now seek to expand into adjoining building space to offer more programs and more year-round programming.
We are inventive!
Diverse programs in diverse locations
We create WaterStories cultural programs on and off our historic ship MARY A. WHALEN, in parks, storefronts, active industrial sites, and on other historic ships.
We tackle serious subjects (Mariners' Response to 9/11) and produce performing arts (opera aboard the MARY A. WHALEN in a containerport).
After superstorm Sandy, we set up an aid center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. That recovery work earned us an award from the White House and honors from the New York State Senate. It got us involved in resiliency planning since floods are WaterStories. Our recovery work served hundreds, our resiliency work helps thousands.
Planning your visit
Visit us for a "waterfront access" experience that's different. Ours is an authentic and dynamic maritime place.
Experience our WaterStories programs and historic ship, along with the most varied collection of historic and working vessels in one NYC place. A container port, cruise ship terminal, NYC Ferry dock and several ships under restoration of conversion are here. We have a partner commercial vessel docked alongside when not out on jobs.
Photos above (c) Carolina Salguero 2017 and (c) Pascal Perich 2017
Schedule a school trip!
Our education programs serve students from elementary schools to PhD candidates, from low-income New Yorkers to students from private schools overseas.
We provide CTE (vocational) internships that develop life skills and job skills.
Get the satisfaction of helping make the world a better place. Join us as a volunteer. The options include shipwork, space design, architectural renderings, volunteer coordinator and more. Join us as a member of the board, advisory board or fundraising committee. Bring us your ideas, connections and energy. It's fun around here!
Awards, honors, appointments
2013 White House award “Champions of Change” for our hurricane Sandy recovery work
2013 National Maritime Historical Society "New York Harbor Historic Ship Steward Award of Excellence"
2013 NYS Senate honors for Sandy recovery work. Resolution, sponsored by Senator Velmanette Montgomery, co-sponsored by Senator Daniel Squadron
2013 Appointed by Governor Cuomo's office to Red Hook's NY Rising committee, a statewide program to make communities more resilient.
2014 Appointed by Councilman Carlos Menchaca to the Sunset Park Task Force to advise the NYC Economic Development Corporation about development plans for the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.
2017 Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez presented PortSide with a Congressional Record citing the importance of the ship MARY A. WHALEN and PortSide programs.