Newtown Creek Alliance


Please join the Newtown Creek Alliance this spring as we work to transform a desolate street end into a cleaner, more inviting public space on the creek’s edge. We began some work on the Plank Road site last fall, but after a long winter now is the time to make some major moves on the landscaping and debris removal front and we need your help! Gloves and tools provided, just bring yourself and some work clothes worthy of getting dirty. See some photos from April 5th and 12th cleanups here.

In addition to our public clean up days, we will be running 2 separate ‘surf+turf’ tours (one group traveling via foot, one via boats), to help introduce more people to the site. Traveling different routes, the walking tour will converge with the canoe tour as a celebratory joining of forces in appreciating the border of water and land and importance of historic and rejuvenated public spaces like Plank Road. The first of these tours will be April 19th. These tours are being offered for free and ticketing is available on a first come first serve basis via Eventbrite. Please read the full descriptions (below) of each tour to confirm that you are able to participate as required. Tickets on sale now.

Turf Tour (25 spots available)
The walking tour, led by Newtown Creek Historian Mitch Waxman and Mai Armstrong, will reveal the rich history of the area as they cross from East Williamsburg in Brooklyn into Maspeth in Queens. Be prepared for rough terrain and possible heavy truck traffic. Dress and pack appropriately for hiking and weather. Closed-toe shoes are highly recommended. Bathroom opportunities will be found only near the start of the walk.

Surf Tour (10 spots available)
The canoe tour will be led by the North Brooklyn Boat Club and depart from their dock in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Trained canoe guides will lead the group up the creek to the Plank Road site and give a thorough safety overview beforehand to limit the risk of exposure to surface waters. All participants must sign a waiver of liability, wear a lifejacket and follow other safety protocols of the NBBC. All participants should be prepared for physical activity and are encouraged to wear non-cotton clothing that breathes well, such as wool or synthetic fabrics.. The trip leaders reserve the right to cancel the trip depending on weather conditions. All equipment provided by the NBBC.

#CSOalert @NewtownCreek

March 11th, 2014


Ever wondered exactly when a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) event might be happening? Maybe something easier than going to the waters edge every time it rains? What if you could text or receive a tweet instead? Well, for Newtown Creek – now you can!

Please join the Newtown Creek Alliance for a special event showcasing our Weather in the Watershed program and fancy new alert system to warn waterway users and enthusiasts of sewage overflow events and poor water quality. The event will be held at the North Brooklyn Boat Club and also showcase the 2013 water quality mural, which displays results from the citizens testing program and rain data from the NCA weather stations.

March 30th, 3pm
North Brooklyn Boat Club
49 Ash St (@McGuinness Blvd)
Brooklyn, NY 11222


As part of our Weather in the Watershed program, we are holding a number of public education sessions this winter. We invite you to visit your local library branch to learn more about these weather stations, our CSO notification system and the fascinating answers to questions like: Where does rainwater go? What about the wastewater from my shower/sink/toilet? What is a sewershed? How clean are NYC waterways and what can we do to improve them?

See date and time details below; program is free and open to all!

Greenpoint Branch (Brooklyn) : February 25th, 4pm
Leonard Branch (Brooklyn) : March 5th, 4pm
Ridgewood Branch (Queens) : March 10th, 4pm
Maspeth Branch (Queens) : March 14th, 3:30pm
Sunnyside Branch (Queens) : March 17th, 6:30pm
Glendale Branch (Queens) : March 18th, 4pm
Woodside Branch (Queens) : March 24th, 5:45pm
Dekalb Branch (Brooklyn) : March 25th, 4pm
Central Branch (Queens) : March 29th, 3pm
North Brooklyn Boat Club : March 30th, 3pm (see details above)



The Newtown Creek Alliance is grateful to have two projects included amongst a pool of 18 that will receive funding from the first round of the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund. We are very excited to get underway with these projects (see descriptions below) that will advance our mission of restoring, revealing and revitalizing Newtown Creek. Both projects will take steps towards improving physical conditions that negatively impact the health of the creek: the lack of proper habitat for native organisms and open green space. More details about these projects will develop in the coming months; if you are interested in receiving updates on the projects please sign up for our newsletter (on the left side of this page).

North Henry Street Planning
Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA) will receive $24,735 (and contribute $1,000 in matching funds) to research and develop a plan for transforming the end of NorthHenry Street into a publicly accessible and ecologically beneficial open space and shoreline. Located on the ‘No Name’ tributary of Newtown Creek, the site consists of 20,000 square feet of city-owned upland and degraded shoreline offering open space, public access to the water, and an opportunity to reduce stormwater runoff to the creek. The grant will enable NCA to inventory existing plant and animal species, assess soils, shoreline stability and the hydrodynamics of the property, as well as to research regulatory and access issues related to planning the site’s development.

Living Dock
Newtown Creek Alliance will receive $24,980 (and contribute $4,300 in matching funds) to design and build a biological “living dock” as a prototype for combining remediation strategies, education, and public access to Newtown Creek’s aquatic environment. The 200 square foot dock will be placed on the eastern shore of the ‘No Name’ tributary of Newtown Creek, near North Henry Street. The dock will provide a landing for small boats and critical habitat for indigenous plants and animals that help improve water quality in the creek. The dock will also provide a stage for both research and environmental education.

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