Volume 22, Number 10 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | July 17 - 23, 2009
New Yorkers will be able to experience the Manhattan waterfront for free this Saturday, as part of the second annual City of Water Day celebration.
The festivities, presented by the Manhattan Waterfront Alliance, include educational boat tours around New York Harbor, kayaking, canoeing, activities for children, live music, and guest speakers taking place on Governors Island. All activities are free throughout the day, though activities on the water itself require registration in advance. Last year’s water day recorded the largest number of visitors to the island — 7,000 — and the M.W.A. is expecting similar attendance this year.
“This year we’re battening down the hatches, hoping for good weather and even bigger crowds,” said Alliance president Roland Lewis, explaining that the day is useful in showcasing the waterfront’s potential. “It’s one 700 mile long classroom that surrounds us.”
Tickets for the harbor tours are currently booked, though standby tickets may be available on the day of the celebration. The festival will also include educational workshops, games, and arts and crafts for younger audiences attending the event. It will also commemorate the opening of the new Yankee Pier at Governors Island, which will used for additional educational and research vehicles.
Lewis also noted the progress that has been made in cleaning up the Manhattan waterfront for public use. “The waterways are a potential blue highway,” he said. “It is actually, in many areas, a remarkable comeback story.”
Free ferries to the July 18 event are available throughout the day, leaving from the Battery Maritime Building, on South St. between Whitehall and Broad Sts. Ferries are also available from the West 39th Street terminal (at 10:15 a.m. only), and the Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn.