Tag Archives: Newtown Creek

Bridges Made of Boats / Puentes hecho de barcos: Public Paddle with Make the Road New York

North Brooklyn Boat Club’s public paddles are free and open to everyone and are one of the most important things the club does. NBBC is a community organization dedicated to enabling and advocating for access to and preservation of the waters of New York City for the community of North Brooklyn. And it is on these days of public access that we are best able to share what we do with our neighbors.

This summer, we have been inviting other nonprofit North Brooklyn community organizations to join us and relax from the hard work of making the world a little bit better.

On June 10, it was our pride and pleasure to share the public paddle with Make the Road New York. Make the Road New York “builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services.” This is a mission that NBBC can fully support.

We think that seeing the world from the water renews our connection to it, renews the impetus to struggle to make the world better. We think that being on the waters of New York, in a boat powered only by the people in it, immerses us in the city’s history, in the ecology of our estuary, in the long struggle for dignity and peace around these waters, and in the power of our local community — immerses us even as we float upon it!

So we welcome our neighbors and our fellow community organizations to the boatyard to see the city the way we love to see it — from the water.

For a collection of images from the June 10 public paddle, please see our Paddle Gallery. And please consider supporting Make the Road New York with your time or money as they continue the struggle to set all New Yorkers free from injustice and discrimination, from poverty and want.

It was our great pleasure to invite Make the Road New York to paddle with us — you should join us, too, as we break tradition by building bridges on the water!

NBBC’s new friends from Make the Road New York, June 10, 2017

Saving the Bay, Cleaning the Creek: Two Events at NBBC

Restoring Our Home Waters

The North Brooklyn Boat Club is dedicated to enabling and advocating for human-powered boating on the waterways bordering Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Our mission is to enable local citizens to be effective stewards of the ecology and so preserve the recreation and freedom that the waterways engender.

And next week brings two opportunities to NBBC members to learn about — and help with — remediation efforts on the waterways of NYC.

Screening: Saving Jamaica Bay

Thursday, May 4
8:00 PM

NBBC is excited to present a screening of Saving Jamaica Bay in our boatyard on the shores of Newtown Creek.

Come and watch what we call the movie about nature in NYC. Critics we didn’t ask rave, “It’s a masterpiece,” ‘It’s a celebration of communities fighting for their waterways,” and “Hey, was that a heron and a Boeing 747 in the same scene?”

$5 suggested donation, soft drinks and beer available for purchase.

Following the screening we’ll have a Q&A with Dan Hendricks, producer of Saving Jamaica Bay.

No registration required. More details on the NBBC calendar.

Riversweep Volunteer Creek Clean-Up

Saturday, May 6
11:00 AM – 4 PM
NBBC Members Only

NBBC members are invited to join Riverkeeper for its sixth annual day of service for the Hudson River Estuary. We’ll be doing our part on Newtown Creek on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

At the 2016 Riverkeeper Sweep, more than 2,200 volunteers, and dozens of community partners worked along hundreds of miles of shoreline from Brooklyn to Troy to remove over 48 tons of debris and plant or maintain 836 trees and native grasses.

Register on the NBBC Calendar to come help out. This is an on-water event, so dress appropriately:

  • No cotton!
  • Wear layers!
  • Bring water! (Nondisposable bottle, of course)

Hope to see you at one or both of these events!

Celebrating the Wildlife of Newtown Creek

Canada goose, East River, May 2014. Photo by Klaus S.

Canada goose, East River, May 2014. Photo by Klaus S.

We Are Not Alone . . .

On most Fridays this summer, NBBC trip leaders have organized birdwatching paddles on Newtown Creek. These trips along the heavily industrialized and abused waterway have made it clear how resilient the birds of New York are and how they find a way to thrive even in the toughest circumstances.

A great egret in Dutch Kill

A great egret in Dutch Kill

Dutch Kills, which in the language of the indigenous inhabitants of Greenpoint was called “bears’ watering place,” is one of the most polluted sections of the creek, slow to cleanse from spills and overflows, but it is home and resting place for great egrets, black-crowned night heron, yellow-crowned night heron, green heron, plovers, cormorants, geese, and many other birds.
Great egret, in Dutch Kills, Birdwatching Paddle, August 5, 2016

Great egret in Dutch Kills, Birdwatching Paddle, August 5, 2016


We share the waterways of New York with many creatures, and many of these would remain mysteries if we were not out on the water, exploring our home in order to see the it anew and know it in new ways, as if for the first time.
A great egret spotted through binoculars on a Newtown Creek paddle, July 7, 2016

A great egret spotted through binoculars on a Newtown Creek paddle, July 7, 2016


And sometimes the charismatic megafauna is in the boat with us!
Bushwick Inlet Paddle, August 8, 2016

Bushwick Inlet Paddle, August 8, 2016

Adventures Near and Far This Week at NBBC

How to Sail Away from It All: Kate & Fabio’s Big Adventure

Thursday, October 13
NBBC Broadway Stages Boatyard
7:00-9:00 PM

Kate and Fabio spent the last few years refitting a “vintage” Columbia 29 sailboat, and sailing it from Buzzards Bay, MA, to St. Marys, GA, and back again! Come gather round for a photo show of their adventure — the good, the bad, and the dusty. Topics will include electric propulsion for two, miracles in fiberglass, marina biology, advanced sanding, and more!

How to Sail Away from It All: Kate & Fabio's Big Adventure

Sailing Away from It All . . .

Kate Zidar was the head of NCA for several years and is a big advocate for the boat club. She sailed away from NYC, literally, about a year ago, in a small boat with with Fabio, whom she had met on a boat in Panama, and they have had many adventures, including a focus on ecology and sustainability in various coastal towns along the Atlantic shore.

Come here their story at NBBC’s boatyard Thursday, October 13, 7:00-9:00 PM.

Thursday, October 13
NBBC Broadway Stages Boatyard
7:00-9:00 PM
Fire, grill, and cocktails to follow.

Explore Local Waters with NBBC and NCA

Saturday, October 15
NBBC Broadway Stages Boatyard
11:00 AM-3:00 PM: GCEF Open House
3:00-5:30: Water-Quality Boat Trip with NBBC and Newtown Creek Alliance

Patterson shows wildlife thriving in the Living Dock to a class from St. Joseph College

Showing off the wildlife in the Living Dock

There are two chances Saturday to join NBBC and the Newtown Creek Alliance to explore the waters of Newtown Creek and learn about the local environment.

First, Celebrate fall in Greenpoint at the first annual OpenHouse GCEF
From green roofs and parks to birds and boats, OpenHouseGCEF offers Greenpointers a chance to see GCEF projects in action and learn firsthand how they are making our community and healthier, safer, and “greener” place to live. Come by the ED Shed at NBBC to see what we’re doing.

Then stick around to join the Newtown Creek Alliance and the North Brooklyn Boat Club for a special series of on-water tours to examine and discuss current water quality trends for Newtown Creek. Following an on-land introduction and presentation on water quality issues, the group will take to the Creek with the North Brooklyn Boat Club and paddle to particular areas of interest and conduct live testing. For more information, see this recent post, and to reserve a spot in the boat, visit the NBBC Events Calendar.