Category Archives: News

Big News from *YOUR* Community Boathouse

Dear community,

We have two exciting announcements to share with you. First, this spring we will (finally!) commence building our community boathouse and environmental education center on Newtown Creek. This North Brooklyn community space is made possible by a grant* from NYS DEC and generous support from Tony and Gina Argento of Broadway Stages. The boathouse will be located on the same lot we have used as our home base for seven seasons of community programming, and the building project represents more than eight years of planning to create a space that will connect the people of North Brooklyn with their waterways, in keeping with our mission.

Second, in conjunction with the building of this boathouse, our nonprofit (501c3) organization will now use the name North Brooklyn Community Boathouse. We will commission the design of a new logo and are looking forward to sharing more details about that with you in the near future.

The 8,000-square-foot boathouse will include storage for dozens of kayaks and canoes, an ADA-accessible dock, a boat-building workshop, an environmental education center, and office space for nonprofit organizations working on revitalizing our local waterways.

Since its founding in 2010, the North Brooklyn Community Boathouse has expanded its outreach and programming while fostering an inclusive culture of creativity and DIY resourcefulness (with a nautical bent). Today we have more than 350 members, many of whom actively volunteer in delivering monthly free public paddles, environmental-education programs, and on-water kayak and canoe training, as well as marine-safety and trip-planning workshops. When NBCB takes ownership — and we will actually own this facility — we will secure the future of these valuable programs and community access to the water.

One of the Big Canoes, Public Paddle, July 14, 2018

While the boathouse is under construction, the status and privileges of our members will not change. NBCB will continue to operate, with paddling and other programs based in exciting new locations around Greenpoint. Kayak and canoe trips will be launched from the Brooklyn Barge (West St @ Milton St.) and free public paddles and also member trips from Manhattan Avenue Street End. Environmental Education trips will be launched from those locations as well as other spots still to be confirmed. Long Island City Community Boathouse has also offered to collaborate on trips and programs during the estimated eighteen-month construction period. These temporary locations will give NBCB more exposure and help expand both membership and outreach.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us. You can e-mail info@northbrooklynboatclub.org. And look for updates here on our website as the paddling season approaches — and we hope to see you on the water soon!

With love and thanks,

North Brooklyn Community Boathouse

PS: Yes, we shall miss the boatyard while we are in exile. It lit up our lives!

*The Newtown Creek Environmental Fund was created from fines levied by New York State DEC against New York City’s DEP for violations incurred during the construction of the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Celebrating the 2018 Level 2 Canoe Class

Canoe training at Lake Sebago

Member paddle trips on the waterways of New York City are the invaluable reward that NBBC members get for their part in furthering our mission of advocacy for and enabling access to the waters for the NYC community. But we always hope that members will become member-volunteers and that those will in turn become trip leaders and the next cohort actively involved in bringing new people out on the water and showing New Yorkers that the waters belong to no one — and so belong to all of us.

And so it’s always great news when a group of members take the first step to becoming trip leaders: passing their Level 2 for canoe or kayak paddling. From here to Official Paddler status to trip leader: that’s the path we hope NBBC members discover and paddle down.

L2 Canoe training at Lake Sebago

And it’s for this reason that we have a culture of learning and teaching. Member trips are always skills workshops, always another chance to sharpen paddling techniques, to understand the tidal currents of our estuary, and to learn of the deep connections we all have with the waters that surround us.

The 2018 L2 Canoe Class at Lake Sebago

At our Lake Sebago cabin this past weekend, six more NBBC members passed their Level 2 tests, this time in canoe paddling. In the words of their instructor, NBBC OP (original paddler!) Jens Rasmussen, “This may be one of the strongest groups we’ve had yet — a testament to our growing canoe culture and mentorship.”

So we want to thank Jens and congratulate our new Level 2 canoeists — with the hope that all NBBC members will move along the road toward becoming more skilled, more connected, and more able to pass that knowledge along to the next group to discover our home waters.

The 2018 Level 2 Canoe class fueling up.

And thankfully there was enough food when the long days were done!

NBBC Is Proud to Cohost the 2018 Paddling Film Festival in New York

Since 2006, the Paddling Film Festival has delivered the world’s best kayaking, SUP, canoe, and whitewater films to screens around the globe. This year’s lineup will transport you to Scotland, where you’ll experience a solo stand-up paddleboard circumnavigation of the Isle of Skye; British Columbia, where you’ll embark on a bikepacking and packraft expedition through the heart of sacred headwaters; Northern Pakistan and the extreme whitewater of the Rondu Gorge on the Indus River; and many other destinations for breathtaking adventures.

North Brooklyn Boat Club and the NY-NNJ chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club are thrilled to ​​​​be cohosting the 2018 Paddling Film Festival World Tour in New York City. Please join us on Tuesday, May 22, at Symphony Space for an evening of river, lake, and ocean beauty and adventure that will leave you inspired for the 2018 paddling season!

Tickets

https://www.symphonyspace.org/event/10122/Film/paddling-film-festival

Film Descriptions
https://paddlingfilmfestival.com/films/2018-film-selection.html

New York 2018 Film Selections

  • Changing Arc
  • The Wild President
  • Skye’s the Limit
  • Chasing Wild: Journey into the Sacred Headwaters
  • The Time Travelers
  • Ziyou/Freedom
  • Making a Birch Bark Canoe
  • Into Twin Galaxies: A Greenland Epic
  • Wild Coast
  • Into the Indus: A Pakistani Odyssey

Buy your tickets now!

NBBC Supports Save the Boundary Waters

In 2014. NBBC welcomed Amy and Dave Freeman on their journey by canoe from Ely, Minnesota, to Washington, D.C., where they hoped to draw attention and federal protection to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which is threatened by sulfide-ore copper mining. Two years later, the fight not over, Amy and Dave spent an entire year in the BWCA. Part of that year is captured in the short film Bear Witness:

The BWCA is still threatened by the sulfide-ore copper mining. Here’s the latest information from Save the Boundary Waters:

Recently, federal agencies in charge of managing and protecting this area denied two old mining leases next to the Wilderness and announced a two-year “time out” on mining activities in order to thoroughly study the watershed of the Boundary Waters and determine if this is the wrong place for sulfide-ore copper mining. This is a great first step as we work to establish permanent protection, but our work is not done. Please ask your family and friends to join you in signing our petition, thanking decision-makers for taking this first step, and urging them to enact permanent protection for the Boundary Waters: Here’s the link to take action.

We hope all NBBC members and all those who believe in preserving one of the last unpolluted spaces in the United States will tell the government that you care about saving the Boundary Waters Canoe Area from pointless industrial degradation.

We at NBBC paddle all season in waters that are thoroughly imbricated in the country’s industrial legacy. We treasure those small measures of wilderness that break through this history of abuse: egrets in Dutch Kills, kingfishers in Bushwick Inlet, cormorants watching the ferries pass on the East River. All of these things let us see the city again, for the first time, in new ways, and rededicate us to NBBC’s mission: enabling and advocating for access to the waterways of New York for its residents. Stewardship and rehabilitation of those waterways is the natural outgrowth of this mission.

Egret in Dutch Kills, July 28, 2017

It seems natural then, to expand this mission to one of the few places left in the country that has not suffered this extraordinary abuse, where you can dip your canteen into the lake water for a drink and listen to the loons call in the autumn and the wolves howl in the winter. We hope everyone who sees this takes a moment to learn more about the Boundary Waters and then takes action.