Thursday, January 9, 2020
[Image via @EastRiverAlliance]
The Lower East Side Ecology Center has launched a petition campaign ahead of the planned reconstruction of East River Park as part of the the hotly contested East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR) to protect against future storms and rising sea levels.
Per their media advisory:
New York City is currently seeking a construction contract to destroy the East River Compost Yard and create a temporary lawn. The Compost Yard is located in a section of the park scheduled to be reconstructed as part of the ESCR in 2023, but under this recent announcement, the compost yard would be relocated as soon as April 2020.
The alteration of the compost yard into a temporary lawn is moving ahead rapidly without community input and was not announced at recent community board meetings. Not only will this plan cut off New Yorkers from composting and effectively kill our community compost program, but it is also a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars to create a lawn that will be destroyed in three short years.
There are over 3,500 households donating their food scraps on a weekly basis that participate in this program. We offer 10 drop off locations in Lower Manhattan where we prevent hundreds of tons of organic material from entering landfill every year. The finished compost is distributed for free in the community.
And their ask, per the petition:
If you support composting, please let the City know how you feel. We demand that the Compost Yard stay operational until the 2023 reconstruction for this section of the Park actually starts. We also demand that the City engage with the LES Ecology Center to finish the design for the renovated Compost Yard as part of the ESCR.
The petition is addressed to Mayor de Blasio, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera.
As of this morning, nearly 1,500 people had signed the petition. You can find it at this link.
This past Nov. 14, City Council signed off on the controversial plan that will bury/elevate East River Park by eight feet. The phased-in construction is expected to begin in the spring. (A coalition of community groups who oppose the plan is expected to file a lawsuit. Read about that here.)
Next Thursday (Jan. 16), CB3's Parks, Recreation, Waterfront, & Resiliency Committee will receive an update on the construction and timeline from officials at the Department of Design and Construction. That committee meeting, which is open to the public, starts at 6:30 p.m. in the BRC Senior Services Center, 30 Delancey St. between Chrystie and Forsyth.
Previously on EV Grieve:
• More details on the city's new plan to keep East River park partially open during flood protection construction (Oct. 3)
• At the march and rally to save East River Park (Sept. 21)
• An annual reunion in East River Park (Aug. 4)
• A visit to East River Park (July 10)
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
[Photo by Stacie Joy]
The next public meeting on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR) takes place tomorrow (July 31) morning at 10.
The City Planning Commission along with the Office of Management and Budget and the Parks & Recreation Department are next the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) public review tour. The meeting is at 120 Broadway, Concourse Level. Page 42 (!) of this document has more details.
By now you likely now the story behind the ESCR project, a coastal protection initiative jointly funded by the City of New York and the federal government, aimed at reducing flood risk due to coastal storms and sea-level rise. ESCR is the first element of the city’s "Big U" plan to protect Lower Manhattan from surges like those seen during Superstorm Sandy.
As part of the project, city officials, starting next spring, plan to close East River Park for three-plus years, elevating it with 8- to 10-feet of soil and chopping down trees, etc., from Montgomery Street to East 13th Street.
Some residents, referring to it as the Kill Our Park Plan, have asked for the demolition and reconstruction of East River Park to take part in phases so that they continue to enjoy some of the amenities that the public space provides. (The revised plan, unveiled last fall, dramatically changed course over what had been discussed the previous four years.)
For more background:
• The official East Side Coastal Resiliency Project page is at this link.
• "A Beginner’s Guide to the NYC Environmental Impact Statement for the East River Park" via East River Park Action is here.
• A primer on the East River Park's past and future by the Village Preservation is at Off the Grid.
Also, this Gothamist piece has a nice background of what has transpired to date.
The city is now accepting public comments through Aug. 30. This link has details on how — and where — to comment.
You may also breeze through the mostly unreadable Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project here. There are hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents with footnotes and collateral materials (the table of contents alone is a unwieldy 32 pages).
The final vote via City Council is expected in late September.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: The reality of storm-proofing East River Park in 2020
Storm center: Questions linger over updated plans for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project
At East River Park
Monday, May 13, 2019
[Photo of East River Park from last week]
You have several chances this week to learn more about the city's plans to stormproof the East Side of Manhattan ...
Per the invite via the city's Department of Design and Construction (DDC):
Please stop by to learn more about current plans for flood protection along Manhattan’s Lower East Side and planned park improvements. City agencies and members of the design team will be available to explain and answer questions about the design, the associated Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application, and the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Community members are encouraged to drop in to the Open House at their convenience.
Community Open Houses
• Tuesday, May 14
• Wednesday, May 15
Both info sessions are at the Lower Eastside Girls Club, 402 E. Eighth St. at Avenue D.
And on Thursday, DDC reps will make a presentation before CB3's Parks, Recreation, Waterfront, & Resiliency Committee at 6:30 p.m. That public meeting is at the BRC Senior Services Center, 30 Delancey St. between Chrystie and Forsyth.
As previously reported, to stormproof the East Side and protect residents from storms the magnitude of Sandy, the city plans to "lift" East River Park by up to 10 feet when work starts in March 2020.
Creating the intricate flood protection system would see the city close East River Park for up to three and a half years, shutting down the current amenities, cutting down many of the trees and rebuilding the newly renovated running track, among other things.
The draft environmental impact statement — 900-plus pages — for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project is currently available for review and comment. My previous post here has more details on the review process and links to relevant materials.
Last fall, the city unveiled an updated plan, which took residents, community leaders and local-elected officials by surprise after years of outreach and groundwork. The revamped plan — released without any community input — is radically different than what had been discussed, and its expected cost will increase from $760 million to $1.45 billion. City officials have said in various presentations that this approach will provide a reduced construction time, resulting in an operable flood protection system for the 2023 hurricane season.
Meanwhile, community coalition group East River Alliance has a petition in circulation calling for a change to the plans.
Per the petition:
East River Park is the largest park in Manhattan below 59th Street and a precious recreation space for a community where many residents cannot afford vacations.
There will be no access to a 3-mile stretch of waterfront from 23rd Street to Montgomery Street. No ball games, barbecues, sprinklers and playgrounds, runners, bikes, walkers — for nearly four years.
We demand that the City reconsider this plan. Our community deserves a resiliency plan that includes:
• Flood protection now and during construction
• Phased closing during construction and immediate reopening of completed sections
• Real alternatives for healthy recreation during construction
• Consideration of other options including flood protection along the FDR and covering the highway to create additional parkland
Find the petition here.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Earlier this afternoon, police recovered the body of an unidentified man from the East River just north of the Williamsburg Bridge. The body was reportedly first spotted in the river near East Houston and the FDR.
An EVG reader shared these photos ...
Patch had this report:
The NYPD Harbor unit discovered the unresponsive victim at 1:25 p.m before police divers pulled the victim's body from the river near the Williamsburg Bridge, said officials.
Emergency responders pronounced the man dead on the scene. Police are unsure if the body was dumped in the river at the Lower East Side or if the body was carried by the current from elsewhere, a police spokeswoman said.
The city medical examiner will determine the cause of death, and the investigation into the case is continuing.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
There are published reports that part of a man's leg was found washed up along the East River near the FDR and Sixth Street.
Someone spotted the leg (from the knee down) around 11:30 a.m.
Per the Daily News:
It was not immediately disclosed if a foot was attached to the extremity, which was brought to the city Medical Examiner’s office. Further tests will be done to try to determine who the leg belonged to and how it became separated from the person’s body.
And via NBC 4:
Details remain scarce at this point, but an NYPD spokesperson said, "When you find a leg in the water, that's suspicious in itself."
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
[Photo on July 4 by Dave on 7th]
On July 4, a man's body was found in the East River near Sixth Street and the FDR.
Patch reports that authorities still haven't been able to identify the man. The NYPD released a sketch of his face on to try and find clues as to who he is....
Per Patch: "Police say the man is believed to be about 40 years old, and that he was wearing gray sneakers, jeans and a black Casio G-Shock watch at the time of his death."
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
The NYPD and other emergency responders are in East River Park this morning. There are reports of a body in the East River near Sixth Street and the FDR.
Dave on 7th shared these photos...
NYPD officials said that it wasn't immediately known whether the body was male or female, per NBC New York.
Updated 10:45 a.m.
The Daily News reports that the recovered body is a male, who appears to be in his 40s. "His body bore no signs of trauma, police said."
[Photo via EVG reader @Section215]
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
As if the East River wasn’t toxic enough https://t.co/uw15dvcSnU— New York Post Metro (@nypmetro) May 9, 2017
There have been news reports throughout the day about the Con Ed substation in DUMBO that "spewed dielectric fluid into the East River on Sunday, causing an oil slick that witnesses said could be seen in Queens," as Gothamist put it.
A Coast Guard spokesperson described this as a "catastrophic failure" of a transformer at the substation.
The spill also caused a voltage dip that caused delays on several subway lines and suspended NYC Ferry service.
Here's the official statement from ConEd:
Con Edison is working to contain and clean up transformer insulating oil that was released from one of our substations in Brooklyn near the East River. A transformer containing approximately 37,000 gallons of insulating oil used with electrical equipment, failed on Sunday May 7 at 12:23 p.m., causing much of the oil to be released within the station property in addition to the East River. The equipment failure also caused a system voltage dip that impacted the MTA’s signaling systems on Sunday, resulting in a disruption to some train service.
Con Edison responded immediately, placing boom, absorbents and skimmers in the river. Our own employees and environmental contractors are working on the cleanup, and we are working cooperatively with the U.S. Coast Guard, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies. We continue to assess the volume of oil that migrated to the East River, and how much oil remains in the ground on our property.
The Coast Guard has issued reduced speed restrictions for commercial vessels operating in the area, and banning recreational vessels, to assist the cleanup process. We are taking all actions to contain and clean up the oil as safely and as quickly as possible.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
EVG Hōkūleʻa correspondent Dave on 7th spotted the legendary voyaging canoe on the East River earlier today...
The craft arrived in New York Harbor on Sunday...
The canoe is taking part in a variety events this week, including World Oceans Day today.
You can read more about the Hōkūleʻa and its historic East Coast voyage right here.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Three runners saved a man who tried to kill himself this morning around 7:30 after jumping into the East River near East 10th Street, according to multiple published reports.
The joggers, including an off-duty NYPD officer, jumped into the water and worked to keep the man afloat until a boat from the NYPD’s Harbor Unit responded.
The man who jumped was reportedly wearing a hospital ID bracelet. Police took him to Bellevue for observation.
You can read more about the rescue at the Daily News ... and NBC 4.
An EVG reader shared the above photo taken from behind the East River Park Track...
Saturday, February 21, 2015
An EVG reader checked in on the East River earlier this morning… we no longer have the Freezepocalyptic conditions that we saw from Monday, but ice floes remain…
… and a panoramic shot…
[Click on image to enlarge]
Meanwhile, if you were planning on using the ferry service today… no luck…
Due to ice conditions in the East River, service is currently suspended until further notice. To sign up for text alerts, text ERF to 57682.— East River Ferry (@eastriverferry) February 21, 2015
Monday, April 14, 2014
You will apparently no longer have to rekindle that friendship every July with those people you really don't like who live on the west side and have a rooftop view of the Hudson ...
According to The Observer, Mayor de Blasio is expected today to announce that the July 4 fireworks will return to the East River where God wanted them to be.
In his former job as public advocate, Mr. de Blasio, a Brooklynite who campaigned as a champion of the outer boroughs, called on Macy’s, the event’s sponsor, to move the show back from the Hudson River so it could be seen by residents in Queens and Brooklyn. The display was moved to the Hudson, between Manhattan and New Jersey, in 2009.
And now a look back at the July 4 fireworks from an EVG friend's roof in the East Village in 2009 ... feel free to ohh! and ahh!
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
EVG Facebook friend Theresa Kimm shared this photo from last night... this fellow caught this (striped bass?) in the East River just south of the Williamsburg Bridge. "He was very happy that people stopped by to look at his prize."
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
EVG reader Luke Dohner Av. C happened by this scene this morning along the East River at East 31st Street... the crane tipped over while repairing a bulkead near the Water Club restaurant...
The Daily News has a report on the 20-ton crane accident:
Workers said the crane, which was on a work barge, got stuck on a support beam when it suddenly crashed forward, sending its back wheels in the air. The scene slowed traffic along the FDR, while some passersby, including one pedaling a rented CitiBike, stopped to gawk and snap photos.
There were no reported injuries. And had this been the Post, the editors would have blamed the accident on the Citi Bike.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
From the EV Grieve inbox...
Tonight at 6, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh will join with hundreds of East Side residents to unveil the East River Blueway Plan, a community-based planning roadmap to bring amenities and storm mitigation measures to the East River, from the Brooklyn Bridge to E. 38th Street.
Who: Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Community Boards 3 & 6, Lower East Side Ecology Center, NYS Department of Coastal Resources, WXY architecture + urban design, Hundreds of East Side residents
Where: Cooper Union, Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square (3rd Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)
When: 6-8 p.m.
Stringer discussed this plan on Feb. 7 during his annual State of the Borough speech ... The Times had a piece on the project here. Gothamist had more details and renderings like the one below here.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer is giving his annual State of the Borough speech tonight ... and part of his talk will include his vision for the East River Blueway Plan, which will "reconnect residents with the riverfront," as The New York Times reported.
The plan won't be unveiled officially for a few more weeks, but the Times got a sneak peek.
Of particular interest around here:
One proposal — the most costly to execute — would elevate the bike and pedestrian path over the F.D.R. Drive at 14th Street, where the path currently narrows to four feet near the Consolidated Edison substation.
The plan calls for a new pedestrian bridge that would rise gradually from blocks away, allowing users to avoid that difficult bottleneck. The bridge would also serve as an inland sea wall that could help prevent flooding and an explosion like the one that rocked a substation during Hurricane Sandy, which contributed to the blackout across Lower Manhattan.
Read the whole article at the Times here. Gothamist has more details and renderings like the one above right here.
Avenue C and East Eighth Street on Oct. 29, before the power went... via Daniel Scott ...