(TENTATIVE) Free Kayaking Sunday, 7/25!

Join us in honoring City of Water Day with…

July 25, 10am-1pm at Gantry Plaza State Park
(Heat Advisory/Storm Watch/Flash Flood Watch/Storm Watch Postponement from July 17)

We apologize but our boats are outside NYC with a volunteer who is recovering from a life-threatening blood parasite. If another volunteer is able to transport the boats on Saturday, we will move forward. Otherwise we must delay.

Learn more through these links! :

Please see note at bottom.

As part of City of Water Day, come enjoy free kayaking at the dock in Gantry Plaza State Park (50thAve and Center Blvd) from 10am to 1pm (sign-up ends at 1230pm and last boats go out at 1245pm).

This is a super mellow 15-minute introduction to kayaking and our estuary within part of a small embayment. The views are fabulous!

No registration needed. Just sign a waiver, wait on line, and follow instructions and commonsense safety practices.

What to bring:

1) Clothing and sturdy shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Quick drying nylons are great.
2) Sun protection, as you would for a day at the beach. We recommend these eco-smart choices: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/executive-summary/ 
3) A reusable water bottle to refill from fountains and tap.
4) Snacks that eliminate or at least minimize packaging.
5) A dry pouch for electronics. Salt water is no friend of mobile phones.

Safety tips (not exhaustive):
1) No running or lingering on the dock or ramp. Head down only when directed and back up immediately after getting out of your boat.
2) Wear only flat shoes like sneakers and sandals and boat shoes, and feel free to leave them on the dock.
3) Sit down on the dock immediately upon reaching your boat. Don’t stand around, and certainly don’t step into your boat or stand on your boat.
4) Avoid rocky areas and piers. Stay in the center of the water. Don’t stray past the buoy line.
5) Stay in the center of your boat. Don’t lean, sit sideways, or engage in horseplay.
6) No drugs, including alcohol, that could impair you.
7) Life vests must be worn fully clipped and snugly on the ramp, dock, and boats at all times.
8) Follow all instructions given by volunteers.

PLEASE OBEY PANDEMIC PROTOCOLS. If your licensed medical doctor recommends vaccination, please get vaccinated. If your licensed medical doctor says that you’re medically unable to receive a vaccination, please wear a mask.

We thank the Hudson River Foundation & NY/NJ Harbor and Estuary Program and Waterfront Alliance and our regular sponsors for supporting and promoting this program, which is brought to you by HarborLAB volunteers.


This is a direct danger to programs starting at 2PM, but even more certainly a danger to volunteers who must pack away and transport boats. We have no boats on site, so we must bring them there. We are working hard to raise funds for a mobile boathouse solution to overcome the lack of a boathouse at Gantry and other sites. At the moment we must bring boats back and forth from Poughkeepsie but expect to have our fleet inside NYC again by August.


From the NYC Water Trail Association, a lead partner in the local citizen scientist water monitoring program: Still recovering from the parting of the skies last Thursday night. On Friday the Department of Environmental Protection issued advisories for 32 waterbodies, which might be a record. This week the Department of Health, which follows different protocols, issued its first advisories of the season for public bathing beaches. Click here to see our latest results.

Note that Gantry alone is in the yellow caution level, while all other sites in the immediate area are red. That gives us cause to suspect that the result might be an outlier. 

Issued By New York City – NY, US, National Weather Service

Action Recommended
Execute a pre-planned activity identified in the instructions
ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Highest temperatures and heat index values expected between 1 PM and 5 PM.
To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! In cases of heat stroke call 9 1 1.

On the bright side, no plague of locusts (don’t make mean comments about the innocent cicadas), no frogs raining from the sky and the East River isn’t running red with blood. 

HarborLAB is coming to the realization that with more frequent extreme weather events, we will need to be more nimble. mobile, and able to provide alternative programming (like making seed balls, for example). Our volunteers will have a discussion this week about these approaches and others. Also, a physical boathouse at Hunters Point South for HarborLAB, as earlier announced by the City, would greatly ease logistics. safety concerns, and maintenance of equipment.

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