Have ideas for the future of Rikers Island or any other Queens waterfront space? Speak out at August open house

31994650918_92a1366b65_k (1)
Courtesy of Governor’s office

Long Island City residents have raised their voices plenty over the years on myriad issues affecting the neighborhood, and now the city wants to hear them again on the future of the Queens waterfront.

If you were one of the hundreds of Long Island City residents who rallied for a community center, especially with a pool, to be part of any development taking place at Anable Basin, or if you have other ideas on what you would like to see along the East River waterfront since Amazon scuttled its plans for an HQ2 campus there, the city wants you to attend a “Waterfront Planning Camp” later this month.

Residents of communities along Jamaica Bay and Flushing Bay and Hallets Point in Astoria are also urged to take part in the Department of City Planning’s (DCP) program, open to all ages, on Governors Island on Aug. 17 to gather input from all New Yorkers on improving the city’s 520 miles of waterfront. The open house format features tables, booths and interactive family-friendly activities providing New Yorkers with the opportunity to share their ideas for the future of the waterfront.

“Surrounded by water on three sides, Queens and its coastal communities have a significant stake in any plan to make our city’s waterfront more accessible and resilient over the next decade,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “It is vital that residents from the Rockaways to Long Island City to Bayside and beyond participate in the process of creating a new Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, as we work to ensure our many miles of coastline continue to be hubs of recreation, resiliency, industry and economic opportunity for our families.”

A variety of local events, planning workshops and online engagement opportunities will be unveiled in the next few weeks on DCP’s dedicated website to enable people to learn and take part in addressing the critical issues affecting the waterfront and the city including climate change, public access and jobs. People can show up at any point during the event and participate.

Although he represents land-locked Corona, Councilman Francisco Moya chairs the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.

“Yes, New York City is a rich and diverse metropolis, but it’s not just a concrete jungle; it’s also home to hundreds of miles of beautiful waterfront,” Moya said. “These areas offer so many opportunities for New Yorkers, from rest and relaxation to improving both their physical and mental health, from building environmental resilience and sustainability to housing equity. I encourage all New Yorkers to join us on Governors Island to participate in the re-imagining of our waterfront and enjoy free interactive activities.”

The Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, mandated by law to be updated every 10 years, will be developed with public input and released by the end of 2020. The last plan, released in 2011, set the stage for expanded use of the waterfront for parks, housing and economic development and the waterways for transportation, recreation and natural habitats.

Photo by Mark Hallum

“New Yorkers love their waterfront and we’re using it more than ever,” DCP Director Marisa Lago said. “To make this precious resource even more enjoyable, accessible and resilient, we’re going to to the experts: New Yorkers themselves. We encourage your involvement to inform a plan for the city’s waterfront for decades to come. You can both help us plan and also have fun by coming on out to Waterfront Planning Camp.”

The event takes place in Nolan Park on Governors Island from noon to 4 p.m. Ferries run to the island from the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan as well as Pier 6 in Brooklyn. Governors Island is also accessible on NYC Ferry’s East River Route.

For updates on the plan, events, or to provide suggestions on how DCP can connect with your community, visit DCP’s web page or contact them at [email protected].