It's set to open to public by end of Sept.
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Southern Brooklyn’s first eco dock is finally in place at the 69th Street pier in Bay Ridge and kayakers will be able to start pursuing their water sport at the end of this month, according to Councilman Vincent Gentile, who came to the pier Tuesday morning Borough Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey to inspect the floating dock.
“It will probably be open to the public by the end of the month,” Gentile told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Gentile secured the initial funding for the project, $300,000, and then worked with Borough President Marty Markowitz to obtain additional funding. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also contributed a portion of the funding toward the $800,000 project.
The long-awaited eco dock, which has been in the planning stages for more than a year, arrived by barge early Tuesday morning. The dock had been scheduled to be delivered on Sept. 3, but was delayed for a week.
Construction workers attached the dock to the end of the pier and extended a gangplank from the pier to the dock.
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.
Gentile and other Bay Ridge officials didn’t seem to mind that the eco dock was a week late. “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, and Elizabeth Makamal Ernish, senior urban planner for Markowitz.
Shortly after their arrival, members of the group, which also included Roland Lewis, president and ECO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, put on hard hats and life vests to get a closer look at the eco dock. 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.
Jeffrey, who walked the gangplank alongside Gentile, said he was impressed by the installation.
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.
“We’re trying to put together a committee of four or five people to work together,” said Jose Soegaard, program manager for the waterfront alliance.
In addition to serving as a launching pad for kayakers, the dock will provide a space for school children to study marine life, Gentile said. Arrangements are also being made to have models of historic vessels stop at the dock to welcome visitors aboard.
The eco-dock is expected to remain open to the public until Thanksgiving and then close for the winter, Gentile said. It will reopen next spring.
The eco dock is the first structure of its kind on the southern end of Brooklyn. There already is an eco dock at Brooklyn Bridge Park. DNA Info reported that the eco dock, which opened in June, is proving to be popular with kayakers.