New York City has 520 miles of waterfront, and one group is highlighting the potential of that resource. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
Abril Lozada's inaugural trip to Governors Island Saturday was a memorable one.
"This is my first time here, so I was scared," she said. "Now I know that boats are really fun."
Once back on land, Lozada, 6, got to learn about the area's waterfront and marine life.
It was all part of City of Water Day.
"For a long time, we had industry on the waterfront, we had port activities on the waterfront, and we weren't using it, the public wasn't using it for enjoyment or recreation or even for commercial activities," said Cortney Worrall of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. "And now, that's all changing, and it's time to take advantage of it fully."
Worrall said that the goal is to remind people that we are a city of water.
The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance hoped to accomplish this goal through boat tours, a waterfront activity fair and even a contest building and racing cardboard kayaks.
If you wanted to try the real thing, there was that option, too.
"We've got a gazillion islands around here from Staten Island to Manhattan Island to Long Island," said one participant. "So water is very important to New York."
"Everybody should be able to access this incredible natural resource that we all are surrounded by, and lots of people don't even realize that it's there," said another.
"We live on the water, but there hasn't been a whole lot of access until now," said a third. "So it's lovely. It's lovely to get in touch with nature."
Organizers say post-Hurricane Sandy we have learned just how important and vulnerable our waterfront is, and we must take steps to protect it from future disasters.
"We don't want one big barrier out in the middle of the harbor keeping the water out. That's not going to work. Way too expensive," Worrall said. "Instead, it's a lot of local solutions that either protect us from the water or allow the water to come in and go back out."
For more about the city's waterfront, go to waterfrontalliance.org.