BILL TO ESTABLISH OFFICE OF THE WATERFRONT MOVES FORWARD IN CITY COUNCIL
Int. 928 will coordinate, lead and advocate for our city’s 520 miles of waterfront
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: VINCENT GRAGNANI 212-788-6972
CITY HALL — Council Member Debi Rose’s bill to establish a New York City Office of the Waterfront moved forward in the City Council today with a joint hearing of the Council’s Committees on Economic Development, Government Operations and Transportation.
The bill, Intro. 928, would require the city to establish an Office of the Waterfront responsible for coordinating and collaborating with city agencies responsible for matters related to waterfront use, working with state and federal agencies involved in the waterfront permitting process, providing applicants with information on federal and state permitting requirements, serving as an advocate for the waterfront within city government, and managing and implementing the New York city comprehensive waterfront plan.
“Imagine fielding a baseball team without a manager, or running a high school without a principal,” said Council Member Rose, former Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Waterfronts. “Management, coordination and leadership are crucial ingredients for success. In New York City, we have a big problem: no one is overseeing the waterways, which is why I introduced this bill last summer. It is time we formally acknowledge the role the waterfront plays in the economic fabric of New York City by establishing an office that will have oversight and harmonize the many pieces that make up its whole.”
“Introduction 928 ensures that New York City’s waterfront has a proper advocate; one dedicated to managing our shoreline with purpose while at the same time protecting it so that future generations can enjoy it too,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “New York City's waterfront is one of our most valuable resources. As a City, we have a responsibility to ensure we are working with the state and federal authorities to invest and improve our waterfront wherever needed. The New York City Office of the Waterfront will play that role and fulfill that responsibility. Thank you to Council Member Rose for working diligently to make this legislation a reality. ”
"The 520 miles of waterfront that surrounds New York City serves important ecological, recreational, commercial and industrial purposes and is a fundamental part of the city's framework," said Council Member Paul Vallone. "Establishing a New York City Office of the Waterfront will help ensure coordination between the city, state and federal entities who traverse our waterways and will help manage and implement the New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, which includes efforts to protect and secure the future of our waters and shorelines. I'm proud to co-sponsor this bill and thank my colleague Council Member Debi Rose for bringing it to the table."
“A 21st-century waterfront with increased mixed use and climate change challenges demands a 21st-century coordinating body. We applaud Council Member Rose for her leadership on legislation to establish an Office of the Waterfront,” said Roland Lewis, Waterfront Alliance CEO and President. “New York Harbor has undergone historic change in recent years. Coupled with the specter of climate change, our waterfronts require an oversight body, with a long-term vision, that can lead, manage, and coordinate waterfront plans and projects that are too often spread among several City agencies, as well as City and Federal partners. Coordination through this new office around maritime uses, transportation, resiliency infrastructure, waterfront access and open space will enhance and strengthen our 520 miles of waterfront and neighboring communities.”
“Since 1873 Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ has been the primary advocate of the industrial maritime community in the Port,” said Edward Kelly, Executive Director, Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ. “From its’ very founding, our harbor and waterfront have been a critical economic engine for our City, Region, and Nation. To ensure the continued safety, security and environmental sustainability of this amazing asset, NYC must find a productive way to balance the residential, recreational, environmental and industrial concerns facing our waterways and neighborhoods. We hope that an effective Office of the Waterfront would serve to coordinate the many City, State, and Federal regulatory bodies overseeing the policies that impact the waterfront, and find creative ways to collaborate in continual improvement so that the waterfront best serves the needs of our City.”
City Council legislation passed in 2016 reconvened the Waterfront Management Advisory Board. The establishment of an Office of the Waterfront would be an additional step toward overseeing the city’s 520 miles of linear waterfront.