There are only a few weeks left in the paddling season but, with our mission being to get people on the water, we want to offer as much access to paddling as possible while abiding by City/State guidelines and safe practices. It’s important to understand that the new protocols outlined below offer more members the opportunity to paddle but the delivery of kayak and canoe trips remains solely up to our volunteer Trip Leaders as does who and how many paddlers they allow on their trips. This is all by way of saying that, while the protocols have expanded, we cannot guarantee that there will be a significant increase in the number of trips launched in the remaining weeks.
• Number of trip participants: 8
• Trip Leaders, at their discretion, may include any skill category of paddler on their trips.
• Trips will be posted on the calendar for online registration.
Trip Leaders and Boatyard Activity Organizers will question every participant to ensure that none have COVID symptoms nor have been exposed recently to anyone with symptoms.
• PFD protocol: Unused life vests will be on a garment rack in container #1. Used vests will be in large black bag in container #1, clearly marked with the date used. After 3 days minimum, vests from the bags can be returned to the rack.
• All previously applied NBCB COVID protocols, including masks required in the boatyard and sanitizing processes of equipment, remain in effect.
• Boatyard Access: safely distanced, masked members and guests (with members) may participate in gardening, boatyard and boat maintenance.
The North Brooklyn Community Boathouse, Inc. (North Brooklyn Boat Club) stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and against systemic racism and police brutality. We support the demands for justice for Black and Indigenous communities and all communities of color.
NBCB is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive paddling community that is also an effective force for the ecological stewardship of our harbor and estuary. We acknowledge that there is much more that our organization can do to attain these goals. We must reflect on our structure, priorities, and programs and ultimately move beyond diversity and inclusion to work that helps bring justice and better lives to the communities we serve. We acknowledge that the historical legacy of segregated outdoor recreational activities persists in the boating community, and we will work to counter it.
We commit to ongoing discussions facilitated by our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee about the role of our organization in addressing issues of race, privilege, equity, justice, and the environment. The goal is to develop tangible antiracist actions that we can take as an organization to improve our own practices and positively affect our communities, the neighborhood, and NYC. We invite all interested members and neighborhood residents to join us. We pledge to seek out communities that have been especially cut off from access to and connection with the local waterways and to center Black and Indigenous communities and communities of color in our outreach and programming. Please watch our website and e-mail newsletter or contact email@example.com to get involved.
As a community group dedicated to environmental justice, we join our partners at the Newtown Creek Alliance, the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, and others in demanding a drastic reallocation of the City budget to benefit Black communities and communities of color by providing services such as education, health care, housing, pollution mitigation, and green jobs.
The North Brooklyn Community Boathouse wants to be the community boathouse for all those affected by and connected to our urban waterways. We have always tried to provide celebration and joy as well as historical, cultural, and ecological information. We look forward to working together to create and enjoy more accessible and healthier waterways and a better, fairer world.
To date, NBCB has been following the New York State on PAUSE directives and our facilities have been closed with paddling not allowed. Recently, the State directives expanded to include marinas and boatyards where they follow strict distancing and disinfection protocols as well as the operation of “boats or other watercraft.”
While NBCB’s mission remains dedicated to enabling safe and responsible paddling and environmental stewardship of our waterways for everyone, current distancing protocols make it impossible to involve anyone who isn’t a fully independent paddler in our on-water activities. Thus, we cannot safely offer paddling at this time to the public, nor to Members who are not certified as Club “Official Paddlers” with the rescue certifications that designation includes.
When our season begins (when East River water temperature reaches 60 degrees) Official Paddlers will be allowed, while following safe distancing and equipment disinfection protocols, to paddle in groups of no more than 6 approved paddlers. All other NBCB Safety Protocols apply. Paddlers should be aware that some research shows the presence of the coronavirus in fecal matter, which suggests that exposure to CSOs might be particularly dangerous at this time.
Distancing guidelines and disinfection processes will be posted on our facilities and must be strictly followed. Paddlers who do not follow these protocols risk losing paddling privileges.
We look forward to the reopening of the City, and resumption of our regular programming including public paddling and member trips. Until this becomes possible, we think it’s important that our volunteers (and that is one of the requirements of OP status) who work to run and organize trips for members and the public, are able to maintain their safety/rescue skills and stay active on the water. In the meantime, the organization will continue to offer online programs, such as our Book Club and Nautical Crafts. We hope to expand these virtual gatherings in the near future.
We promise to update this policy as the pandemic and our ability to offer safe recreation and access to the open space of the waterways evolves.