Press Releases

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2020

Melissa Grace, Joe Marvilli – (212) 720-3471

With Special Help from NYC Artists and Resiliency Advocates, City Planning Launches Online Initiatives – Celebrating 520 Miles of Waterfront

Virtual events this month include collaborative artistic endeavors, virtual tours, trivia, surveys and more



NEW YORK – Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago today announced a series of virtual activities aimed at celebrating New York City's 520 miles of shoreline with an eye towards the next Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a report which will provide a vision for the city's waterfront for the next decade and beyond.

"The shoreline is one of the city's most treasured, valuable and vibrant resources. While we all miss spending time by the water, New Yorkers can get informed and participate in waterfront planning with this very special series of creative online events. We hope these opportunities will help keep New Yorkers of all ages connected with the waterfront from their homes," DCP Director Marisa Lago said.

"New York City has never fully taken advantage of its vast waterfront. Our city has 520 miles of coastline and we've barely put our toe in the water. I am excited that this administration has prioritized a comprehensive plan that connects New Yorkers from all communities to their waterfront and expands the way New Yorkers experience their city," said Council Member Justin Brannan. "As Chair of the Committee on Resiliency and Waterfronts, I want to see all New Yorkers have the opportunity to get out on the water for transportation, recreation and increased economic activity so we can truly realize the full potential of our city's unique waterfront."

"May is a time to celebrate spring and enjoy our 520 miles of New York City waterfront. Though our waterfront may not be as accessible this year, the city is unveiling new ways to connect New Yorkers to this precious resource and to appreciate it virtually from the safety of our homes. I encourage adults and children to check out these online programs and share with their friends and neighbors," said Council Member Debi Rose.

DCP and our partners have created three virtual programs on the vibrancy of our waterfront, as well as the continued need for resiliency and safe open space. They will run through May.

  • Walking the Edge, led by DCP and arts organizations Culture Push and Works on Water, will help New Yorkers think creatively about their waterfront. It will take place each Friday at noon.
  • Waterfront Passport is a guidebook for New Yorkers to view and participate in virtual waterfront-related activities from home – each weekday.
  • #WaterfrontWednesdays is a partnership between DCP and local organizations that work on or with the water. Aimed specifically at school children, the program encourages New Yorkers to explore and enjoy their waterfront from home.

"We are thankful that we can continue to bring the important and boundary-pushing work of our Climate Justice Fellows and our other affiliated artists to the world and we hope that Walking the Edge can bring comfort to our hard-hit city by uniting around our shared land and water. This collaboration with Works on Water and DCP has been expansive and nurturing, and we are delighted to be continuing together through difficult times," said Clarinda Mac Low, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Culture Push.

"We hope these projects connect New Yorkers virtually to their waterfronts and the lens of the city's future and create a new appreciation for the waterfront that ignites and empowers the public's imagination," said Nancy Nowacek, Co-Founder, Works on Water.

"As we stay at home to defeat the COVID pandemic, there's still an opportunity to explore the hugely varied and beautiful 520 miles of New York City waterfront online. And while you're taking part in these virtual events, consider the ways we can best utilize, improve and protect this great resource and feed those ideas to the Department of Planning as they partner with thousands of civic groups and citizens formulate the City's next Comprehensive Waterfront Plan. All should participate, have our voices heard and help shape the future of our coastal city," said Roland Lewis, President and CEO of Waterfront Alliance.

"Brooklyn Boatworks has been thrilled to expand our partnership with DCP, which began earlier this school year with students inside of our classrooms and continues through educational and fun activities on our remote platforms," said Marjorie R. Schulman, Executive Director of Brooklyn Boatworks.

"April showers bring May flowers and it's a great time to experience our city's 520-miles of waterfront. In Jamaica Bay, we are already seeing signs of spring. Since we can't join you along our waterfront in person during this time, we are grateful to the Department of City Planning for bringing virtual experiences to the public through Waterfront Wednesdays," said Alex Zablocki, Executive Director of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. "In addition to these social media live experiences, the Conservancy launched virtual in-park experiences and activities, including a Jamaica Bay StoryMap allowing viewers to explore Jamaica Bay, learn about our waterfront parks and the wildlife that calls them home."

Walking the Edge

The month of activities kicks off today, May 1, with the launch of Walking the Edge. Each Friday, DCP, Culture Push and Works on Water will highlight a different artist who will create prompts, questions or activities to help New Yorkers think about the waterfront's future.

Waterfront Passport

On Monday, May 4, DCP is launching a Waterfront Passport for a series of online events designed to inspire and inform conversations on how to make the waterfront an even better place to live, work and play. The Waterfront Passport, which you use to log your progress through the waterfront activities, will dive into a different theme each week:

  • Living and Playing at the Waterfront (Week of May 4)
  • The Working Waterfront (Week of May 11)
  • Natural Resources and Recreation (Week of May 18)
  • Adapting our Waterfront (Week of May 25)

Using these topics, DCP will highlight different activities each weekday. The Passport acts as a 'choose your own waterfront adventure' manual. For example, the activities you can pick from for next week's theme of Living and Playing at the Waterfront include exploring our Waterfront Access Map, filling out a survey and a virtual kayak tour of Coney Island Creek.


To help keep New Yorkers of all ages connected with their waterfront from their homes, DCP has also been hosting #WaterfrontWednesdays on its @NYCWaterfront Instagram in partnership with local waterfront organizations. These social media events include everything from waterfront trivia to virtual tours to resource guides. In addition to Brooklyn Boatworks, we'll collaborate with Jamaica Bay Rockaways Park Conservancy, the NYC Economic Development Corporation, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and more to explore their key waterfront initiatives.

Additional waterfront events will be held throughout the summer, with details to come.