City of Water Day is an annual festival of free activities and events designed to get New Yorkers more comfortable and familiar with our extensive and beautiful waterfront. Presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and over 700 partners (including Solar One), the Festival will be held in waterfront locations throughout the area, with most happening at Governor’s Island and Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken, as well as Pier 42 where Lower East Side Ecology Center will be running a fishing clinic (catch-and-release only).
You can find more information about activities here. The Festival runs from 10am-4pm on Saturday July 12, and all activities are offered free of charge.
Last year, Superstorm Sandy swept over our Solar One building in Stuyvesant Cove Park, uprooting our trees and washing away our stage. We have spent the last year rebuilding our park, and have just finished planting local trees for next season. As we look to build our new education center, Solar 2, we plan to make many important changes to better position us to weather the next storm.
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Solar One took great strides this week to study and improve the quality of the East River at our Stuyvesant Cove location. Working with our partners at NY/NJ Baykeeper, we have re-initiated our oyster gardening site! The new oysters, which contain 38 juveniles and hundreds of infant oysters [known as spats], will be monitored by visiting school groups and Solar One staff. In addition to caring for the oysters, the above groups will work together to collect data to help decide how hospitable our East River location is for oyster restoration.
The gardening project has the goal of bringing back the oyster to the New York harbor estuary and allowing this keystone species to provide its number of benefits to our waters ways, including water quality improvement and habitat creation.
We are also very excited that our new automated water quality monitoring equipment has arrived. Once this system is in place, we will have real time data posted online. This will help us try to understand the relationship between our oysters’ health and the East River water quality!
On Saturday June 22, visitors to Stuyvesant Cove Park had a chance to get up close and personal with the neighboring East River. Thanks to a diverse coalition of waterfront access groups, New Yorkers could do more than look out over the waves on a beautiful summer day – they could actually kayak through them!
Over the course of the afternoon, more than 200 park goers piled into the sunny yellow boats on the beach (or outcropping, as some refer to it) just north of the 20th Street entrance to the Park. Seasoned volunteers were present to offer instruction and guidance, but many kayakers found they needed little more help than the first nudge into the water. Some paddled adventurously while others simply coasted with the flow of the tide, but everyone – young and old – enjoyed the unique experience.
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Just this week Mayor Bloomberg presented a long-term plan to better prepare NY for the devastating impacts of the rapidly changing climate. Approximately 8-months ago, Hurricane Sandy demolished many parts of NY leaving many New Yorkers wondering just how prepared Manhattan actually is to the natural disasters regularly hitting the area.
Mayor Bloomberg is proposing an extensive plan including the construction of stormwalls and barriers. This project, although very costly (estimating close to $20 billion), is essential and requires action to be taken immediately.
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The East River has never been known as an oasis of nature. Seinfeld famously ridiculed Kramer, who thought it would be a good idea to swim in the East River. But an intrepid group of politicians and groups are trying to take a big step forward by re-imagining the shorelines along downtown Manhattan.
We recommend downloading the full plan (don’t worry, there are lots of pictures) and browse through some of the proposed developments. Stuyvesant Cove Park gets a full section, and there are some interesting tidbits about the waterfront and its history. This is your river, too!