New York Harbor’s Beaches. Yes, You Heard That Right

Yahoo/AP has a good story this morning on plans to create a beach on the Hudson, at Piers 52/53.

The story misses a growing movement led by boaters to revive the city’s beaches. For instance, the argument is raging now in Community Board 1 over providing access to a beach on the East River just below the Brooklyn Bridge. This beach exists already, and is about 250 feet long—but barriers make it impossible to get to the beach from the streets.

The big secret is that New York harbor has many beaches. A fine new website called NewYork Harbor Beaches offers aerial photography of some of these hidden spots. And it has an important message about the vitality to the city of “dozens of natural sand beaches” in the harbor:

Largely unknown to the public, and frequently uncharted, these beaches are tangible reminders of the thriving estuary and recreational playground that the harbor used to be—and could be again. Beaches are great because they soften the edge of a shoreline that is now mostly concrete and stone. They absorb storm and wake energy, function as natural filters for runoff, and make prime habitat for wildlife, including shellfish and shorebirds.