PortSide was founded to bring change to NYC’s waterfront, to make the waterways better used, to bring boats to communities, to change NYC policy.
Via our visiting vessel program, and by inventing Kayak Valet, we have brought many boats to Brooklyn, but getting the permits and the access was crushingly tough (except for Kayak Valet which was a breeze, and we are thrilled that the term and practice is now common in NYC.)
Thanks to our eight-year real estate search to create a place called PortSide NewYork, a home for our MARY A. WHALEN and visting vessels of all types, we have studied and/or negotiated with over 20 sites in NYC. This means we know where the opportunities - and the obstacles - are. We are funneling what we’ve learned to policy makers, and will soon start a public awareness campaign.
The city has piers that are designated for boats that were not built well for boats. The city has rules that add other layers of impediments.
Did you know that historic houses in NYC Parks have resident housekeepers, but New York City policy often prohibits resident shipkeepers who would similarly protect and maintain historic ships?
Did you know that NYC has a policy that states “boats block the view”? Buildings face no such absolute prohibition. Building zoning is calibrated to building function, size, location. “Boats block the view” has kept our MARY A. WHALEN off several piers. We’re out to change that rule, and others.
NYC has a reputation on the eastern seaboard for being a boat-unfriendly town. The thrust of NYC's first 20 years of waterfront revitalization, before Vision 2020, was getting people to the water's edge NOT onto, into or using the water itself.
The impediments prevent non-profit and commercial marine operators alike. They prevent major maritime festivals and single historic ships from visiting NYC, and prevent NYC's own historic ships from easily moving around the city to serve the public. Such impediments limit dinner, charter and excursion boat options, community sailing programs, marinas, kayaking programs and the workboat sector of the industrial waterfront.
Would you like more boats in your community? Summer ship camp? After school programs afloat? More maritime jobs? The chance to take a dinner cruise or leave on fly fishing cruise from your own neighborhood? Activity on a dormant pier in your neighborhood? Do you have a boat, boating program or business looking for a space in NYC? Leave us a comment below to let us know.
Help us continue this work and grow our programs
Support our fundraiser on Tuesday 10/28/14 “Resiliency is our HOOK.” Buy a ticket. Become a sponsor. Join the Host Committee and help sell tickets before the event. It will be a fun event with the rollicking Dixieland jazz of the Red Hook Ramblers and the great food and casual ambiance of Hometown Bar-B-Que restaurant. We greatly appreciate your support! As do the people and businesses who benefit from our resiliency work!