Please help us recover from hurricane Sandy! Help make us more resilient! Please help us complete our Sandy recovery project by the due-date of June 2018. This project was FINALLY approved in November 2017 after FIVE YEARS of battling SBA and FEMA red tape!
The FEMA rules mean we have to raise 10% of the cost or $26,000 before going to the shipyard in June 2018. Please donate! Please share! Thanks!
The project will make our ship Mary A Whalen more resilient (after 30 days of work in a shipyard) and thereby make PortSide more storm resilient*** AND increase the number of places the ship can dock, INCREASING THE NUMBER OF PLACES AND COMMUNITIES WE CAN VISIT WITH PROGRAMS! This would even increase our location options within Red Hook.
Please help PortSide as we helped others. Our Sandy recovery work in Red Hook helped all sorts of people and earned us a White House award and honors from the NYS Senate. We continued helping for years after those honors, see below. We will be able to do more in the future if you support this project! Thanks!
***What our FEMA Sandy "Alternate Project" will do
- Install a generator and hard wire it to the existing electrical system in the house (the tall part at the left in illustration above, where the portholes are at the back of the ship).
- Enable the ship to use spuds (internal pilings) which will make her self-docking (like a NYC Ferry dock). Having spuds will make the ship more resilient in storms and will make us more "economically resilient" by increasing our docking options, enabling us to go to communities with no piers or with those new-fangled piers built for pedestrians and not boats. To do this work, the ship will be hauled out at a shipyard, the forepeak (the front-most space) will be repaired, sand blasted and painted so that it can hold ballast water. Ballast water will bring the bow down to the point where the spudwells are perfectly vertical. Spudwells (the tubes through the hull through which the spuds go) were installed in 2007.
- Fabricate and install the spuds.
- Fabricate a collapsible gangway and collapsible browstand (a portable base that goes on the pier under the gangway). These will be more resilient in storms (we can take them apart and put the pieces on the ship deck out of harm's way). They'll make us more "economically resilient" by increasing our docking options: the browstand will be the height of fences that NYC has been putting on piers and that block gangways. With our special browstand, our gangway will be able to reach over the obstructive fences (like a stile). FOR YEARS, PortSide and others have advocated for removable, sectional fences; but the fences keep being built, so we are creating a work-around with this high browstand. We see this as a prototype other ships can use when trying to dock in NYC. NYC has a reputation of being unfriendly to boats and ships of all sizes. You can see some of our efforts to change that by searching for hashtag #Piers4Boats on Twitter.
Our Sandy damages story
The PortSide crew protected the ship MARY A. WHALEN from Sandy, but everything off the ship was damaged, destroyed or floated away. Those damages (over $340,000) generated the pool of funds upon which our FEMA "Alternate Project" is based. ("Alternate Projects" don't replace like with like, they make the victim more resilient.)
FEMA obliges us to raise 10% of the project, or $26,000. FEMA will cover 90% of the project or $231,000, and that is reimbursement money. We need to apply for a loan and have worked out terms with a lender. We have identified the lender.
PortSide’s recovery & resiliency work
Sandy preparation and prevention work
- Protecting the MARY A. WHALEN, a historic ship of national significance, from damage.
- Preventing the ship from breaking free which kept the ship from damaging the property of others. Compare that to the story of a similar tanker JOHN B CADDELL which became Staten Island’s symbol of Sandy and cost the City a lot of money.
Sandy recovery work
- We set up and ran a Sandy aid station at 351 Van Brunt during November 2012.
- We ran a virtual aid station for months that offered updated recovery resources.
- We ran six months of monthly Red Hook Sandy survivor meetings with a partner.
- We honored IKEA for their Sandy recovery work to highlight the massive, and unreported, work of the store as an educational example.
- We honored our Red Hook Sandy recovery partners to draw attention to their work.
- 2013-2014: We were appointed by NYS Governor’s office to Red Hook NY Rising committee and contributed significant elements to the plan for $3MM in State funds. PortSide staff and interns did research supporting the committee (which includes one, two, three, and four blog posts) during the committee's eight months of work. We returned to the committee, renamed Resilient Red Hook during 2016 and much of 2017.
- 2016: We created a Resiliency 101 guide in our e-museum Red Hook WaterStories.
- 2017: We assumed stewardship of the Community Emergency Readiness website Ready Red Hook.
- 2017: We installed, on the Atlantic Basin fence, a flood preparation sign in a life ring that uses our popular ship cat Chiclet as spokesman.
- 2017: We served on the Advisory Committee working on Red Hook public art projects about climate change and sea level rise, a process led the Mayor's Office of Recovery & Resiliency, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Councilman Carlos Menchaca's office.
- 2017: We collaborated with artist Katherine Behar and Pioneer Works to create "Maritime Messaging: Red Hook" performed and installed on the 5th anniversary of Sandy. Sunday, 10/29/17.
- 2017: We spoke at two Red Hook resiliency events: Thursday 10/26 WATERSHED art opening and Saturday, 10/28 Resiliency Roundtable.
- 2017: We arranged for an official OEM Sandy High Water Mark sign to be installed near the Atlantic Basin, Red Hook fence. (Coming in Spring 2018 to highlight the start of hurricane season).