FINAL From park_v2.jpg

BoatBox - Making a container educational

The following is an example of planning work completed by PortSide in 2011. This was not created at the time due to Parks permitting issues, then the interruption of hurricane Sandy, followed by our own search for a new home and more. 

Get in touch if you want to help fulfill the vision of this BoatBox upgrade to the plain shipping container where the Red Hook Boaters store their kayaks in Valentino Park. This will also create a prototype for similar boating programs in NYC.

This work was possible thanks to pro bono design services PortSide 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 would 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 has worked on a survey boat and a ferry.  Many of her illustrations are on our Waterways Info page.

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

Features of the design:

  • 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 the Kayak Valet service that PortSide inaugurated in Valentino Park that is now practiced citywide by kayak groups.

  • 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.

animals of the working harbor.jpg

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

  • History from our e-museum Red Hook WaterStories.

  • 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

Info on where to go fishing in Red Hook here.

Though local waters are much cleaner, often clean enough to swim, many fish accumulate poisons in their system and are not good to eat on a regular basis.  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.  There are ways to protect yourself in terms of you clean and cook the fish, and knowing which fish to avoid eating.

  • See this July 2009 Daily News story Fishing for Danger

  • Read the NYS Health Advice on Eating Fish You Catch brochure (pdf)

  • 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 more safe boating info, see our waterways info page.