BoatBox - Making a container educational

PortSide has a plan for redesign a plain shipping container "the BoatBox" where the Red Hook Boaters store their kayaks in Valentino Park, and creating a prototype for similar boating programs in NYC.

This work was possible thanks to pro bono design services won via a desigNYC competition.  During the time of the desigNYC project, PortSide's team solidified the form of the architectural design and content concepts were established. The 2D design will commence in the next phase. 

The interpretive graphics here are only placeholders and do not represent the final 2D design. In several sections, we would like to use illustrations by Christina Sun who has a harbor blog bowsprite. She is a kayker who works on a survey boat and a ferry.  Many of her illustrations are on our H2O info page

Our BoatBox is a pilot for improving boat storage design and safety signage at launch sites harborwide

Features of the design:

animals of the working harbor.jpg
  • Creates an outdoor boat-themed room at the NW corner of the park
  • Adds comfort of shade and seating made from large harbor flotsam
  • Provides boat rack where visiting kayakers can lock up their boats and visit the community, a hardware version of PortSide's kayak valet service
  • Metal framework is rugged and affordable scaffolding
  • Design is modular. Position of elements can be shifted for BoatBoxes in other locations.
  • The angled panels on the BoatBox side will show a super graphic to visitors entering Valentino park, and the other side provides detailed content to be read up close.

Educational info will explain:

  • Safety info: (in Spanish and English) community flood preparedness information (so important post-Sandy), how to boat safely near commercial shipping and strong currents, the risks of eating fish caught in the park and to prepare the fish more safely for cooking.
  • Maritime education: explanations of ships, tugs, barges seen from the park
  • Historical info: PortSide's WaterStories research into Red Hook history along a water theme
  • Environmental info: How street litter reaches our waterways due to NYC's Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system, and how we can can prevent beach litter by understanding that, and info on the Red Hook Boaters beach clean-up program
  • Program info: Red Hook Boaters and PortSide NewYork

Fishing Safety Info

Fish from New York City waters can contain chemicals like PBCs, dioxin, and cadmium. These chemicals build up in your body over time and may lead to cancer or birth defects in children. Here is some info to help you learn more about eating fish you catch.

Fishing advisories from the DEC and EPA.

Daily News story Fishing for Danger.

Want to know which fish to avoid eating? Click links in the chart below from a NYS Department Of Health guide to get enlarged photos. 

Please download the full fish safety guide (in English, Spanish and Chinese) to get more information on how to clean and cook  fish to avoid  contaminants and more.


Precaución al consumir pescado

La tabla pertenece a una guía que contiene información acerca cómo limpiar y cocinar el pescado para reducir sus contaminantes. Está disponible en español.

La razón principal para no consumir pescados y mariscos que provienen de aguas de Nueva York es su contenido de químicos como PCB (bifenilos policlorados), dioxina y cadmio. Estos químicos se acumulan en el sistema de la persona que ingiere el pescado y a largo plazo pueden causar cáncer  o defectos de nacimiento en los niños. Le recomendamos que se informe acerca los pescados que se pueden consumir y cuales se deben evitar.

Vea  los avisos pesqueros del Depto. de Conservación Ambiental (DEC) y de la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (EPA).

 ¿Busca saber qué pescados evitar? Presione los enlaces en la tabla para una imagen más amplia del tipo de pez.


Boating safety info

Boating safety info is needed  due to fast currents and heavy commercial marine traffic nearby which includes huge cruise ships and container ships, tugs and barges, and  high speed ferries.  For some safe boating info, see our H2Oinfo page.

PortSide advocates boating safety information  because the process of creating Vision 2020, NYC's 2nd Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, called for more boat launches. 

This prompted several PortSide recommendations to Vision 2020 including the recommendation at safety information be included at city launch sites since recreational boaters are not required to have a license in New York State. This means there are no competency standards for them.