Activists take to East River for Bushwick Inlet Park protest

Surf and no turf! Residents rally on river for promised parkland

The Brooklyn Paper
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They rocked the boat!

Dozens of Greenpoint and Williamsburg residents stormed Bushwick Inlet by land and sea on Sunday to demand the city deliver a park it promised to build on the waterfront a decade ago.

Around 40 protesters on canoes and kayaks paddled into the cove near Kent Avenue between N. 14th and N. 15th streets on Aug. 9, waving flags and making noise. Meanwhile on land, around 100 protesters chanted and hung signs on the fence that surrounds an industrial lot that the city the city purchased last year but is yet to transform into green space.

The landlubbing demonstrators were cut off from their seafaring counterparts by the fenced-off lot, which they said highlighted the locals’ longing for waterfront green space.

“A lot of people wanted to get over the fence, see the water, and interact with the boaters, and I think that speaks to the issue itself,” said Steve Chesler, a Greenpoint resident and member of community group Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park.

The city pledged to build a 28-acre park betwixt the East River and Kent Avenue, between N. Ninth Street and Meresole Avenue, in 2005 when it rezoned much of the Greenpoint and Williamsburg waterfront to allow developers to erect luxury-housing skyscrapers.

The high-rises have gone up — bringing thousands of new residents to the neighborhoods — but the city has so far only purchased 17 acres of the land it needs to build the planned 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park, and has turned only seven acres of that into parkland.

The protestors, many of whom are longtime area residents, said they wish more of the new high-rise inhabitants had come to Sunday’s protest, as their families will also suffer from the lack of open space in the neighborhoods, which have some of the lowest ratio of green-space per-resident in the city.

“If I had kids, I can’t imagine a more important cause, especially with the lack of green-space for kids to run around in around here,” said Gina Leone, a Greenpoint resident. “But it seems like people have no idea what this lot is supposed to be for.”

The activists say they plan to host another rally in the fall, and won’t give up until the city makes good on its promise.

“The neighborhood needs this park — we deserve it — but we’re going to have to fight for it,” said Greenpointer Kate Yourk.

Reach reporter Harry MacCormack at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @HMacBKPaper.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

b from gp says:
The waterfront's focus should be entirely on protecting the inland. This would require the waterfront lots not be built as planned thus far. A new comprehensive Environmental Review and Rezone needs to take place.
Aug. 11, 2015, 6:53 am
bob from greenpoint says:
how's that arson investigation going?
Aug. 11, 2015, 9:09 am
b from gp says:
What would've been the motivation for arson? The cards were already in Brodsky's favor, minus the fact his property would have to go through ULURP to be rezoned residential. Only the most irresponsible City officials would approve such nonsense given all the logistics involved.

The real problem is everyone is bickering about their favorite flavor ice cream. Strawberry affordable, mint chip amenities, chocolate 421a(420c), vanilla open space. Meanwhile we've a MAJOR drainage problem because of rising water levels and future increased rainfall, all being covered up wid afterthought lil band aids.
Aug. 11, 2015, 10:10 am
o from afterwards says:
stracciatella East Hampton, limone Emerald City
Aug. 11, 2015, 10:39 am
Neil Young from 20' Underwater says:
Greenland ice-sheet melt, increased future rainfall were not considered by the Environmental Reviews which justified the waterfront rezone.

Rocky road New Orleans II
Aug. 11, 2015, 1:47 pm
yada yada from gp says:
Did you know the City's study of Hurricane Sandy damage stated Williamsburg suffered less flooding than Greenpoint because the built developments protected the neighborhood. The reason Williamsburg suffered less flooding was because much of it is at a higher altitude.

A 'high level sewer' ain't gonna cut it. We need someone like Buro Happold to take on the waterfront, minus the possibility of a Three Gorges Dam.

Meanwhile India Street is asking to be reviewed under the 1968 Code and Greenpoint Landing didn't submit all pertinent drainage runoff info to the DoB (claiming it's DEP's responsibility to grant approval for what happens on their property) and still got permits to build. DEP is responsible for the connect and street, not what happens on site. It's anarchy!
Aug. 11, 2015, 5:26 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
It'd be great if the kids could play soccer on a field larger than a beach volleyball court.
Aug. 11, 2015, 9:20 pm
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr from Southside, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, United States says:
I have to give them a lot of credit. However, the main problem of this neighborhood as well as my own is you cannot stop "progress," you have to "adapt" and move on.
Aug. 17, 2015, 12:31 pm

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