Paddlers Celebrate The Bronx During 11TH ANNUAL BRONX RIVER FLOTILLA
On Saturday, Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Bronx River Administrator/Executive Director of the Bronx River Alliance Linda Cox joined Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilmember Oliver Koppell, Bronx River Alliance Chair Joan Byron, community groups and nearly 200 paddlers in a flotilla of 86 canoes and kayaks for a five-mile trip down the Bronx River to open the paddling season and to celebrate the river's revitalization.
"The Bronx River Flotilla celebrates spring and the environment by bringing New Yorkers to the water," said Commissioner Benepe. "After decades of neglect, the Bronx River, one of the City's greatest natural resources, is now well on its way back to ecological health, thanks to the joint stewardship of the Parks Department, the Bronx River Alliance and partner community groups whose conservation efforts have made the river not only clean enough for us to paddle today, but also cleaner for plants and animals, like José the Beaver, who call the river home. The progress we've made and continue to make cleaning up the Bronx River demonstrates this administration's commitment and the commitment of many elected officials, at various levels, to open up the great waterways for recreational use and create a cleaner, greener New York City."
The Bronx River Alliance serves as a coordinated voice for the river and works in harmonious partnership to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor so that it can be a healthy ecological, recreational, educational and economic resource for the communities through which the river flows. The Alliance works in close partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and more than 125 other partners to achieve these goals.
"We're delighted to welcome people to the 11th Amazing Bronx River Flotilla, where we can all witness the transformation of this river and the greenway along it into tremendous community resources," said Executive Director of the Bronx River Alliance and Bronx River Administrator Linda Cox. "It's fitting that the Flotilla ends at the Concrete Plant Park, because this new park is a landmark of what community effort, joined by support from public agencies and elected officials, can bring about. And it's a great place for a celebration!"
The Alliance has been integral in the restoration of the Bronx River and in establishing the eight-mile Bronx River Greenway, a ribbon of waterfront parks along the Bronx River connected by ten miles of paths. The recent resurgence of native species in the river, including José the Beaver, believed to be the first beaver in New York City in 200 years, as well as the reemergence of native alewives, which were reintroduced to the river in 2006, points to the river's environmental renaissance.
The Bronx River Alliance is introducing a Bronx River Blueway Map & Guide. Covering the eight-mile stretch flowing through the Bronx, the guide is designed to make the river more accessible for the general public and to help paddlers navigate the river safely and enjoy the experience. It includes a detailed map, illustrative photos and a written tour of the river. The guide was prepared with funding provided by the New York State Department of State Division of Coastal Resources under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.
The Bronx River is 23 miles long, with eight miles in the Bronx. It starts at the Kensico Reservoir in Valhalla in Westchester County and ends in Hunts Point in the Bronx, where the river flows into the East River/Long Island Sound.