NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC

Joy Hecht
Thu Nov 2 12:14:39 EST 2006

Thanks for the explanations, Ralph.  

Maybe part of the lobbying tactic, if those permits are still in effect, is
that all of you get everyone you know who has ever even thought of putting a
boat in the water anywhere in the NYC area, all go and get permits.  So the
city will see that you have numbers.  If permits were really easy to get -
application forms at every place you might put in, at every commercial
venture selling anything related, etc. - would they be that much of an
imposition?  NYC isn't like Florida or even Rockland County - it's dense,
and there's competition for every little bit of space or resources.  So you
need to show numbers to get your piece - you can't just claim it as a right
when someone else is claiming it as a right for a different activity, and
there isn't enough to go around.  

If permits help do that, go for permits en masse!  

Though I suspect, Ralph, that you couldn't even reap where you did sew.
Sewing does not usually lead to plant growth.  In my experience it leads to
buttons being attached, jeans hemmed, and occasionally new clothing.  

Now sowing, on the other hand...  


:::-----Original Message-----
:::From: [mailto:nyckayaker-] On Behalf Of ralph diaz
:::Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 9:24 AM
:::To: Jeff Hoyer; NYCKayaker
:::Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
:::Interesting discussion thusfar and most of it with valid points.  Just
:::clarification on things:
:::This was started not as a way to regulate paddlers.  It had other
:::First, NYC Parks wanted to reduce its liability regarding paddlers
:::from its designated sites.  Paddlers are supposed to get a permit and the
:::application form comes with a short document that exposes the paddler to
:::reminder of safety precautions about weather, traffic, cold water
:::etc.  Second, NYC Parks also wanted to have an idea of how many people
:::paddling in the city.  That is why I and others such as Tim Gamble at the
:::DTBH strongly urged people to get permits.  I don't think in any given
:::we ever got more than 100 or so to get permits.  Now if there had been a
:::thousand paddlers or 2,000 per year (figures that begin to scratch the
:::surface of paddlers in the city), then NYC Parks would have taken notice
:::terms of numbers of launch sites and other park systems such as Hudson
:::Park Trust would have taken notice.  To jiggle a saying "We don't reap
:::we don't sew."
:::Several other things about NYC Parks and the permit system.  I was on the
:::scene just a few years after it started.  Given the difficulty of
:::unguided amateurs into the more turblent and traffic filled waters of the
:::East River and lower Hudson (south of Riverside Park), no launch sites
:::ever located there.  They were in waters that more resembled conditions
:::Rockland County where one paddler on this list freely launches.  Frankly
:::was not anticipated that the level of skills would grow so fast as they
:::done through the DTBH and companies such as Manhattan Kayak and NY Kayak
:::that have made paddling by large numbers of kayakers reasonably safe in
:::those trickier waters of the harbor.
:::NYC Parks early on anticipated the storage issue.  I remember going
:::with officials looking for potential places and having some pointed out
:::the Orchard Beach area and in Northern Manhattan.  None were that large
:::(building space is at a premium even for NYC Parks).  And none were in
:::Manhattan, obviously.
:::The Hudson River Park Trust and the Hudson River Park Conservancy that
:::preceded it had nothing to do with the creation of any of the paddling
:::establishments that sprang up.  All are grassroots affairs or humbly
:::businesses started by enthusiasts who had a similar desire to see people
:::enjoy their rights to their waters only differing in whether for profit
:::not for profit.  All of these establishments are untidy in the Trust's
:::and suffer from "not made here" in the sense that the Trust did not put
:::in place from some grand scheme of things.  So, the Trust is always going
:::be of a frame of mind that it wants to either do away with them (now
:::be shooked; the Trust doesn't like anything funky and paddling is funky)
:::wants to regulate them into something that is anathema to the free
:::souls usually drawn to paddling.  The Trust is not a friend, so don't
:::much from it that you can't wrestle from it through sheer weight of
:::of paddlers and their supporters.
:::In the records of Manhattan Kayak, NY Kayak,  Outriggers Group, etc. but
:::most importantly the DTBH are names and names of people who support
:::because they are either deeply involved in it or have taken a lesson or
:::or gone out with the free program at the DTBH operations.  While people
:::change addresses etc.  I am sure that there are probably 40,000 names
:::can be pulled up of which some 25,000 are NY State residents and about
:::20,000 residents of the five boroughs.  That is voting power that would
:::impress the Trust, which afterall is a NY State/NY City governmental
:::I know a whole lot of the people who have piped up on the issue, Bonnie,
:::Mike Pidel, Joy, Jeff Hoyer, Eric Baard, Nancy, etc.  You are really all
:::the same page.  You want access and, part of that is storage.  That is
:::now a
:::challenge that while large is not as threatening as the one Bonnie
:::that led to the creation of The Human Powered Boating Group (HPBG).
:::Remember the threat back then was to the very use of the harbor waters of
:::the Hudson south of Riverside Park, all of the East River and Upper Bay
:::bordered by Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Battery and New Jersey. The HPBG
:::joined together all commercial paddling operations that used the harbor
:::just Manhattan Kayak and NY Kayak but also Atlantic Kayak Tours and other
:::upstate outfitters), DTBH, the Barge paddlers,  outriggers, surf skiers,
:::Floating The Apple.  You name it . . . if it held an oar or paddle it
:::part of the group.  As Bonnie noted, the shipping commercial interests
:::the Coast Guard stood up and took notice.  Efforts to effectively
:::us out of existence in NY harbor waters was stopped.  We came to an modus
:::operandi with the ferries, got law enforcement to help stop the rising
:::harrassment of paddlers  by renegade jet skiers and did pioneering work
:::effective lighting for night paddling.
:::It cost not a dime to unite.  All it took was to see the common interest
:::being threatened and presenting a strong, reasoned front.  A threat is
:::exactly what is happening with the Trust and paddling.  Jim Wetteroth
:::was one of the principal people behind the creation of HPBG and Bonnie
:::(Manhattan Kayak, Barge) played an important role is the gains we made as
:::did Randy Henriksen (NY Kayak) as well as Michael Glass (surf skiis).
:::Others are still around.  Get together to make sure there is a pie that
:::then be divided.
:::ralph diaz
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