By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Kayakers and other aquatic fans are going to be happy to hear this news: the southern Brooklyn’s first eco dock will have its grand opening on Oct. 17.
Located at the end of the 69th Street pier, the Bay Ridge Community Eco Dock will be open to the public starting on that date for kayaking, marine life studies, and to provide New Yorkers with a place from which to board sloops and other small vessels that will be anchoring there.
The announcement was made by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, which has been working with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) to plan activities at the eco dock. Details on the opening day activities are still being worked out, according to a spokesman for Gentile.
The waterfront alliance is a non-profit organization made up of 700 groups that works to open up waterfront areas in New York and New Jersey for recreational use.
The opening ceremony will take place at 11 a.m., with Roland Lewis, president of the alliance, City Parks Commissioner Veronica White, Gentile and other officials welcoming visitors.
The new dock is able to host historic and educational boats, walk-up kayak programs, boat trips for summer camps and community groups, community events, and environmental education projects such as water quality monitoring and oyster gardening, according to alliance officials.
Anyone interested in discussing programs and events at the new Bay Ridge Community Eco Dock can contact Jose Soegaard at [email protected].
Gentile recently went to the pier with alliance leaders and Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey to inspect the floating dock. The councilman secured the initial funding for the project, $300,000, and then worked with Borough President Marty Markowitz to obtain additional money. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also contributed a portion of the funding toward the $800,000 project.
“It looks great!” Gentile said, as he stood on the pier with Jeffrey, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Bay Ridge-Coney Island), Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, Board 10 Parks Committee Chairman June Johnson, Elizabeth Makamal Ernish, senior urban planner for Markowitz, Lewis, and Nate Groves, the Parks Department’s marina manager.
An eco dock is a floating dock that rises and falls with the tide. The dock contains two platforms; one to be used to provide a docking area for small boats, while the other will be used as a kayak launch.
The Parks Department will oversee operations at the eco dock. The waterfront alliance will work with Gentile and the Shore Road Parks Conservancy, a Bay Ridge parks advocacy group, to plan recreational and education programs at the eco dock.
Those who enjoy kayaking won’t have long to enjoy the new dock, however. The eco-dock is expected to remain open to the public only until Thanksgiving and then close for the winter. It will reopen next spring.
The eco dock is the first structure of its kind on the southern end of Brooklyn, but it's not the first in the borough. An eco dock opened at Brooklyn Bridge Park earlier this year.