It was so gratifying for us at PortSide to help Red Hook residents and businesses with their Sandy recovery and see people get back on their feet.
We now ask for your support to complete our own Sandy recovery. We need to raise $26,000. With your support, we can better help others in the future!
Here's our Sandy damages story
The PortSide crew protected the ship MARY A. WHALEN from Sandy, but everything off the ship that we could not move (or had no where to move to) was damaged. Those damages (over $340,000) generated the pool of funds upon which our FEMA project is based.
We slogged through four plus years of paper chase with SBA and FEMA, with frustrating twists and turns. In 2017, FEMA approved our "Alternate Project" to make resiliency upgrades to the ship MARY A. WHALEN.
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 will apply for a loan and have worked out terms with a lender.
PortSide’s 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 after that recognition, see below. Please help us as we helped others. We will be able to do more in the future if you do!
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 with portholes at the back of the ship).
- Enable the ship to use spuds (internal pilings) which will make her self-docking (sort of 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.
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 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.
- 2016: We created a Resiliency 101 guide in our e-museum Red Hook WaterStories.
- 2017: We are assuming stewardship of the Community Emergency Readiness website Ready Red Hook.
- 2017: An official OEM Sandy High Water Mark sign will be installed on the Atlantic Basin, Red Hook fence thanks to our request.
- 2017: We are installing, on the Atlantic Basin fence, a flood preparation sign in a life ring that uses our popular ship cat Chiclet as the spokesperson.
- 2017: We are 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.