Advocacy

PortSide is a think tank AND a do tank

We advocate, and we show by doing.  

PortSide is creating a new kind of maritime destination in NYC that demonstrates a new model for how to bring urban waterways to life.  

It's a place bustling with water-related activity where PortSide grows synergies between the community ashore and the community afloat.  Here, authentic maritime and creative Brooklyn meet. It’s a homeport and community center that serves the immediate neighborhood that we deeply know -- and is a major magnet for visitors by land and sea.  It is a maritime center that looks to the future, not the past.

Here, we grow our programs in visiting vessels and culture and education and job training and resiliency and preservation and expand.

Visitors admire tugboats docked while their crews are ashore for groceries. Tall ships visit. Adults come for evening movies, book readings and talks. Kids come for school trips, TankerCamp, maritime-themed birthday parties, summer internships or for quiet study time in our maritime reading room.  

Youth learn boat building and sailing. Adults take classes for a merchant marine license.  Visitors admire our collection of Red Hook artifacts, the physical companion to our digital museum Red Hook WaterStories.  Our changing BLUEspace exhibits illuminate waterfront issues, art, maritime and marine life topics.  Our store sells books, bait and tackle, and you can watch tugboats come and go over a coffee in our café.

Homeowners, planners, and students visit the resiliency library with flood prep info (expanding on resources in Red Hook WaterStories) that makes this major topic accessible.

Our ambassador, the historic tanker MARY A. WHALEN, is an attraction on site when she is not out bringing PortSide programs to other communities. 

Our advocacy work is the think tank rendition of this vision and energy

We speak for boats of all types.  That includes vessels of the working waterfront, dinner/charter/excursion vessels, ferries, historic ships and/or recreational boats. Please support this effort by tweeting #Piers4boats 

We advocate for cooperation between user groups on the waterways and between the working waterfront and entities seeking public access.

We encourage waterfront parks to be more boat-friendly in terms of design, management and programming.

For select examples of our testimony over the years visit our webpage Advocacy - Testimony

The seam between water and land should be a porous membrane with people and things coming and going across it. Not only would that make the most useful waterfront, it would also make the most interesting and fun one.
— Carolina Salguero, Founder & President