project leader
Tori G
96th Street and FDR Drive
Manhattan (Upper East Side)
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Summer 2012 Rowing Schedule!

the project


New Yorkers are often disconnected from their waterfronts and have no safe access onto the water where they can learn more about their own ecosystem and the role they play in its well-being. Most NYC school children cannot name three wild birds they might see in the water, or imagine that the East River is home to seahorses among many other fascinating creatures. Knowing that the estuary all around us serves as a fish nursery is a key to motivating others to reduce street litter and look for solutions to CSO that happens under heavy rain conditions. Furthermore, the East River is also the location for pilot clean energy projects studying how tides can generate electricity. We cannot be good stewards of what we do not know.

the steps

  • Weekly, Tuesday at 5pm: Learn-to-Row, May through September for children with parents, and/or adults over age 18
  • RSVP weekend longer excursions, mid-August through October, for rowers with Tuesday experience
  • Community Boat Maintenance sessions November through April
  • These activities take their toll on our boats, and in 2012-2013 we plan bi-weekly workshop sessions, locations TBD, for maintenance and repairs as simple as making new thole rings, or as complex as creating a new rudder, or turning new thole pins on a lathe.

why we're doing it

Our free Community Rowing Tuesdays involve the public in learning to row traditional wooden (volunteer built) Whitehall boats on our estuary waterways. These require no carbon offsets as they have a zero carbon footprint. They also provide a form of healthy exercise for those need additional recreational activity. East River C.R.E.W. meets on the intersection of the Harlem and East Rivers where our davit is located at the end of 96th street on the esplanade by the East River. Our boathouse container is just behind Stanley Isaacs Park. At the E. 96th Street esplanade, our trained coxswains are standing by teach people (in groups of four to six) to row in short excursions out. We encourage people to come back to our RSVP rows during the later part of the season, when days are shorter. Our project connects people to the water in a safe way (10 year zero incident record) and provides a fun context in which to learn about the estuarine environment in most people's backyards.


$400 towards annual insurance (total cost $1,700)
$200 printed educational materials for coxswain training
$200 Pirate parade banner kits for school or CBO groups that register to parade with us
$100 for small token gifts to distribute to kids along the way of the parade
$25 Parks Permit for event
$75 water & hats for volunteers on National Learn to Row Day

Total costs = $1,000

Third party credit card processing (3%) = $30
ioby materials and labor = $35

Total to raise = $1,065


Summer 2012 Rowing Schedule!


Summer 2012, East River CREW will be rowing on Tuesday evenings starting at 4:30 pm. Meet by East 96th Street davit on the Esplanade. We row until dusk so come on out if you don’t think you’ll make the first boat and we’ll come back in to swap out rowers. First come, first serve. In September, rows switch to Saturday mornings.

We have also been busy with a renovation project to our launch site. East River CREW received funding from the Harbor Estuary Program to refurbish our traveling ships ladders and install a semi-permanent ladder at the East 96th Street launch site. This also covered the cost of cutting a new gate from the railing so that rowers no longer need to leap the fence. The semi-permanent ladder was an innovation designed to satisfy the requirements of monitored access and yet safe egress from the water. We hope the ladder installation will serve as a model for other water access points around the city. The top half of the ladder is removable and we supervise its placement each time we row. The bottom half is permanent and always offers a place for someone in the water to reach help.  The sea wall that surrounds most of the waterfront on the Manhattan side of the East River would benefit if equipped with places to get safely up from the water.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Molly T.
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