Editor’s Note: This post comes to us from Jennifer Stark-Hernandez, Waterfront Organizer at the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA), a member organization of the Community-Based Planning Task Force. Members are always welcome to contribute posts. Please email with your ideas!
Here at the MWA office, it’s hard to believe that it’s been almost three weeks since our 2008 Waterfront Conference, which was held on Thursday, November 13 at the Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan. By all accounts, it was a smash. Hundreds of people from all over New York and New Jersey descended early in the morning to Battery Park for a tour of the harbor. Some even braved the windy roof deck for the views. After the tours, attendees filed into the museum for a full day of new visions for the waterfront. We used the conference to launch the Waterfront Action Agenda.
Afterward, the tour attendees filed into the museum for a full day of new visions for the waterfront. Breakout session topics echoed those in the Agenda, such as harbor education, ferries, and dredging. The surprise hit session of the day was on simplifying the permit process. The session room was packed beyond capacity, demonstrating people’s hunger for clarity around permitting. Between sessions everyone mingled in a packed harbor exhibit where dozens of groups displayed their programs. The day ended with a rousing reception headlined by Sustainable South Bronx founder, Majora Carter.
With all the enthusiasm for our waterfront generated by great events like the 2008 Waterfront Conference and recent successes such as the recently passed legislation in New York City requiring a waterfront plan every ten years beginning in 2010, you may be asking, “Now what?” Sign up for the Waterfront Action Network at www.waterfrontalliance.org and join the blue movement. The Waterfront Action Network is the growing community of activists and concerned citizens who will take the time to show up at a hearing, write a letter, send a fax, or participate in an event.