City of Water Day 2008 Photo by Elisa Delijanin via Flickr CC
Looking for something different to do in New York City this upcoming weekend? This Saturday, July 16th, 2011 marks the 4th annual City of Water Day Festival in New York City. The event presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and friends, is the one day where New York aqua enthusiasts converge on Governor's Island arriving by ferry, canoe or kayak, to celebrate the waterfront. The day is packed with free activities including: kayak and fishing lessons, free boating, arts and crafts, and tours of historic tugs and barges. A Healthier New York Harbor
While the majority of activities are on Governor's Island and Liberty State Park, City of Water Day is a harbor wide event linking the waterfronts in the region. The festival is to illustrate that the New York Harbor waterfront has the potential to be a healthy harbor accessible to all. Events take place from Brooklyn to the Bronx, with a 5 mile paddle from the Bronx River to Long Island Sound to watching a squid dissection with Master Angler Bill Fink in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
There will even be events circumnavigating Manhattan island, via kayak and swimsuit. Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club is hosting its 9th annual circumnavigation around Manhattan with 60 brave kayakers kayaking from Pier 40 in Manhattan around the East River and back to Manhattan. For those who would want to get more wet, there is also the 28.5 mile counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Manhattan as a marathon swim presented by NYC Swim (but only open to those previously invited).
For those interested in shorter excursions, the Alliance is also giving away free sailing excursions from Governors Island and Liberty State Park through a twitter contest. Visit www.cityofwaterday.org/twitter-contest/ for all the details.
Stories, Arts, Music and Water-Rama!
For those more interested in the arts, back at the City of Water Day Festival, the creators of Underwater New York, an online anthology of stories, art and music, will host a "story tank" on the Mary Whalen ship, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Atlantic Basin in Brooklyn. There may be some fish tales in this group.
Or if you would rather watch the waterfront from the comfort of land and on the big screen, the Alice Austen House on Staten Island is hosting an outdoor screening of the 1954 classic "On the Waterfront" on their lawn. The film begins at 8:45 p.m.
True to its educational mission, the Waterfront Alliance is also presenting Water-Rama: A Symposium on our Harbor. The symposium will cover NYC's Vision 2020: It's Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, the effect of the EPA's superfund program on local waterfront sites, such as the Gowanus and Newtown Creek, and estuarine ecology.
However you choose to experience City of Water Day, the most important thing is that you check it out and get your feet wet!