Wednesday morning, Downtown had the pleasure of attending one of the most important conversations for our city, 2017’s Waterfront Conference hosted by the Waterfront Alliance. The Alliance works to protect, transform, and revitalize our harbor and waterfront.
This year’s Waterfront Conference — Measuring Our Harbor: Strong, Healthy, and Open — featured the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, and the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Ras J. Baraka, leading an all-star lineup of participants and panelists discussing waterfront issues and opportunities of the two states that share New York Harbor. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez opened up the conference and shared her passion and admiration for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway and her concerns for the future of our waterfront infrastructure.
With nearly 600 waterfront advocates, policy-makers, and professionals in attendance, the Waterfront Conference is and has been a staple in not only prevention of additional devastation of our waterfront by rising sea levels and planet warming but also the economic importance of our beautiful waterways.
“NYC Ferry is already bringing thousands more New Yorkers back to the water,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We believe every New Yorker has a right to experience their waterfront, and that’s why we’re investing in affordable ferry transit, in new greenways and esplanades, and in resiliency measures to keep our waterfront communities strong. We are excited to join our friends at the Waterfront Conference to celebrate this extraordinary progress.”
“The City of Newark is pleased to join the dialogue on our shared waterfront at the Waterfront Conference,” said Mayor Baraka. “Just like the three-mile-long strait that connects the waters of Newark Bay with the Upper New York Bay, those of us in leadership in this region are irrevocably joined in matters which affect the environment and its effects on our citizens. I believe that a discourse on the value that our waterfront brings to the economic viability and health and well-being of our communities is both critical and necessary.”
The Waterfront Conference was held aboard the Hornblower Infinity, dockside at Hudson River Park, Pier 40, in the morning, and cruised the New York Harbor throughout the afternoon.
Photography by Ian Douglas/Waterfront Alliance