Newtown Creek, a 24/7 Waterway!

In it’s heyday, they say Newtown Creek was home to some 500 industries, and over 15,000 vessels traversed the waterway annually. As recently as the 1950′s, ocean-going freighters were a common sight as far east as Maspeth. These days, the creek is not as active as in the past, but there is still a constant presence of tugs and barges servicing the anchor industries on the creek – waste, fuel and aggregate. If you want to learn more about the maritime activity on the creek, or in the NY/NJ harbor in general, check out this sweet real-time marine traffic map.

On the weekends and evenings, however, the work subsides a bit and the scene changes. Its a little quieter and a little slower-paced.

Enter the intrepid shore birds and handboaters, as well as land lubbers who poke around the shore for various reasons – from scientific research to teenage mischief.  At NCA, part of our mission is to “reveal Newtown Creek”, and this is one tall order. Here is our photographic attempt to recap one Saturday, and highlight what you find when the creek is in “weekend mode”…

Shoreline condition at Dutch KillsHauling DKN also helped on the day of the event, as we were cleaning near their siteCaitlyn and Bate of IEC tipping the scaleAction and Waste Management provided hauling and disposal services.Graduates of the coastal cleanup
Katie Schmid at Newtown Creek ArmadaNewtown Creek ArmadaNewtown Creek ArmadaMitch and MaiWillis giving paddling lessonSparkles
Paddling by Dutch KillsPaddling by SimsMitch Waxman in a canoe - historic moment, ladies and gentsTanks at Metro FuelBirds ahoy!At the Maspeth Creek boom
At the Maspeth Creek boomAt the Maspeth Creek boomNBBC tour leader WIllisAt the Maspeth Creek boomIMG_20120915_165504IMG_20120915_160557

Thanks to everyone who came out to participate in the day’s events and helped them run safely and smoothly. Especially: Caitlyn and her colleagues from the Interstate Environmental Commission  who organized Newtown Creek’s participation in the Ocean Conservancy’s 2012 International Coastal Cleanup. Big thanks to Waste Management, Action Carting and DKN Ready Mix, who all stepped up and helped us properly dispose of our cleanup booty. Additional thanks to Sarah, Nate and the whole Newtown Creek Armada crew, who have created a safe, creative, innovative way for the public to interact with the creek at the Nature Walk.  And yet more thanks to Willis of the North Brooklyn Boat Club, who kept us high and dry in our canoes, and his friend David, who brought the bird book.

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