Participants, carrying noise-makers and homemade signs, gathered in Tompkins Square Park and made their way over to East River Park along Avenue B, with a stop outside the Fourth Street office of local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who has voiced support for the city's plan to cover the park with eight feet of fill for flood control and cut down 1,000 trees.
The march, organized by East River Park Action, ended at the amphitheater, where there were an array of speakers, including neighborhood activists, several candidates for City Council and Manhattan Borough President and the poet Eileen Myles, who served as emcee. (Recaps at Gothamist and NY1.)
EVG contributor Stacie Joy shared these photos from along the march and in East River Park... to protect the Lower East Side and surrounding neighborhoods from a 100-year-flood event and sea-level rise.
Opponents of the city's current plan — where workers will raze the 57.5-acre plot of land, bulldozing 1,000 mature trees and rebuilding the park atop eight feet of landfill — say there are better ways to preserve the park and provide flood protection, such as the one mapped out in the years after Sandy.
In late 2018, the city surprised community stakeholders by announcing a complete overhaul of a plan discussed over four years of local meetings.
In October 2019, the city announced that they would phase in the construction, so only portions of the park are closed to the public at any given time. According to various reports, the city has committed to leaving a minimum of 42 percent of East River Park open to the public. It is projected to be completed in 2025, a timetable opponents say will never be met.
Meanwhile, the city officially kicked off the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project this past Thursday via an announcement by Mayor de Blasio.
As previously reported, the lowest bids have come in, and they've already exceeded the budget by $73 million, which doesn't cover the entire project.
Previously on EV Grieve:
• East River community group gets action on the release of (heavily redacted) Value Engineering Study