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City of Water Day Public Paddle in Dutch Kills! (And Street Clean-up and Public Art Installation!)

Clean-up, public paddle, *and* an immersive arts experience along the Creek! Come out and enjoy your city’s local water body! Free! Saturday, July 16, 11 AM – 2 PM

July 16 is City of Water Day, which brings together communities throughout the NY/NJ Metro Region to raise awareness about the risk we all face from floods and rising seas, and champion climate-change-resilient shorelines and waterfront communities.

Join North Brooklyn Community Boathouse (NBCB), Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA), and the and visual and performing artist Marie Lorenz for a Creekside clean-up and exploration by boat of the forgotten reaches of our local Superfund site: Newtown Creek!

From 11am – 2pm NBCB will run a Public Paddle event along the Dutch Kills tributary of the Creek while NCA will host a clean-up at the public access site and street end.

Our goal is to improve environmental conditions at these sites while also making them safer and more inviting as green public areas along the shore.

Light snacks and water will be provided.

At the public paddle event, we will launch canoes NBCB’s 29′ cooperative canoes, and volunteer guides will lead trips to experience artwork by the found-materials sculptor, photographer, and performance artist Marie Lorenz on the water, out of sight from the shore.

No paddling experience is required for participants and an on-land safety training will be held before boating begins. The Dutch Kills tributary offers a safe haven for boating given the inaccessibility for commercial vessels and large boats.

For the on-shore clean-up, NCA will provide gloves, tools, safety vests, and guidance on how to help care for the new urban meadows. We ask participants to bring a refillable bottle and sun block and to wear close-toed shoes.

You can register through the NBCB calendar page or through Eventbrite. NBCB volunteers, please register through the calendar and let us know when you are available. You can also just show up!

I hate it when they fight. Goose and egret at the new marsh project in Dutch Kills, July 13, 2018

Whether registered or not, all attendees will be able to join the shoreline clean-up of the Borden Ave Street End (a city-owned shoreline NCA has stewarded since 2019); paddle on the guided canoe trip of Dutch Kills (utilizing one of NBCB’s 29 foot 12 person canoes, captained by a certified trip leader); and engage with Lorenz’s on-water artwork.

The Public Paddles let NBCB do what we do best: fulfill our mission to enable access to the waterways of New York City for our local community. We hope you can join us for this special City of Water Day edition!

NBCB sincerely thanks the Greenpoint Community Environment Fund and the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for financial support for our Public Paddle series.

About Our Partners

The Newtown Creek Alliance is a community-based organization dedicated to restoring, revealing and revitalizing Newtown Creek.

NCA works to restore community health, water quality, habitat, access, and vibrant commerce along Newtown Creek. Since 2002, the Alliance has served as a catalyst for effective community action.

Marie Lorenz’s work, both on and off the water, brings people closer to our urban waterways and is deeply evocative of our impact on the planet. Amongst her numerous projects, Lorenz has been operating The Tide and Current Taxi, a rowboat taxi that she paddles to reveal New York Harbor to any interested parties, seasonally since 2005. She also makes prints, sculptures, and mobiles of washed-up manmade materials. With her creative work, Lorenz brings people to the water, working with its tidal systems to reintroduce urbanites to our aquatic systems and the impact they have on us, our city, and our shorelines.

Update for the 2022 Season

Hi, friends, neighbors, members, and the wider NBCB Community.

Because of construction at the lot at 51 Ash St., access to the NBCB boatyard will be severely limited for the foreseeable future. NBCB will continue its community and member programming, mainly from the alternate site at the Manhattan Avenue Street End Park. We’ll also continue to search for other launch options and also work toward establishing some sort of access at the boatyard.

For NBCB members this means that all kayak programming will be suspended until we find another launch site. Canoe programming will use a smaller fleet than previous years, though we plan on launching member canoe trips from the park, especially skills trips on Newtown Creek for beginners and new members.

We are also committed our welcoming the wider community to the waters through our Public Paddles series, and we are working to schedule these at Manhattan Avenue Street End Park. Watch here for updates and more information.

We hope to see you this season.


The Pulaski opens to welcome us back, Public Paddle, June 1, 2019

Public Paddle, May 25, 2019


These COVID protocols (June 30) supersede all previous:

Unvaccinated members and unvaccinated guests should wear masks and maintain social distance in the boatyard. 

All other COVID-related restrictions are lifted.

These protocols may be updated again this season, and Member input is welcome. In the meantime, please direct general comments or questions to Patterson and Erica

PLEASE, return borrowed Life Vests to the boatyard!

Separate note: Major physical changes to the boatyard should always be run by the “Boatyard Crew” committee, which is the group responsible for the boatyard. Leaders at present include Willis and Patterson. Committee membership is open; we always need more folks who are interested in helping with maintenance and improvements.

Members are still encouraged to repair, fix and improve things as they see fit, in the spirit of common sense and safety.

Please, if something seems major, or is going to be easily visible from the bridge or the street, we’d like to chat first. For example fixed structures, or signage that’s not directional or specific to a NBCB event should be approved. Please contact us both, we’ll help.