Two-Hour Hidden Harbor "Beyond Sandy" Boat Tour Explores New York Harbor in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

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Tuesday, July 16, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m aboard the luxury tour boat Zephyr, departing from South Street Seaport’s Pier 16 in Lower Manhattan, expert speakers will examine ways to protect our region from future devastation as the boat travels from the East River to Newark Bay visiting sites where fires, floods and floating ship containers wreaked havoc.

Hurricane Sandy barreled through our region last October leaving mass destruction in its wake. The question everyone has asked since then is: “What can we do better?” This tour, presented by the non-profit Working Harbor Committee in partnership with the New York Water Taxi/Circle Line Downtown, will answer part of the question.

Tour-goers will see:

--The Con Edison 14th Street substation that caught fire and exploded when salt water surged inside, leaving a large chunk of Manhattan dark for several days;

--The Red Hook Container Terminal, where surging waters sent shipping containers floating through the harbor until they fetched up on land;

--Port Newark, where thousands of new cars were destroyed and many caught fire when saltwater caused their batteries to explode;

--New York Harbor at work today with tugs, barges, ferries and large ships sharing the waters as the tour boat makes way to the giant container terminals in Port Newark and Elizabeth;

--Views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline will round out the harbor experience.

As the boat travels through New York Harbor special guest speakers William Hass, who served as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Mayor Bloomberg’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR), and Mike Abrahams, Technical Director for Structures at the engineering firm Parson Brinkerhoff, will engage in a lively discussion about how to protect our region from future storms.

The SIRR report, which Haas worked on, identified over 250 initiatives to address the challenges of climate change. Abrahams, of Parsons Brinkerhoff, began studying storm surge barriers years before Sandy struck.

In addition, Nancy Carbone, Executive Director of the nonprofit Friends of Firefighters, will describe how her group pitched into help with relief efforts. Friends of Firefighters assisted over 500 FDNY families affected by Hurricane Sandy in living Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island with food, counseling, supplies and volunteer labor.

Capt. John Doswell, Executive Director of the Working Harbor Committee will moderate the discussion and act as tour guide, pointing out port facilities as the boat passes by them.

Tickets: $39 adults; $32 for seniors and Working Harbor Committee members; $25 children (4-12). A portion of the ticket price goes to the Working Harbor Committee to support its programming.

Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Visit or To purchase by phone call 212-742-1969. If the cruise is not sold out, tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour at the Circle Line Downtown booth on Pier 16.

Zephyr, which will depart Pier 16 promptly at 6:30, features two fully enclosed decks, plus an open-air roof deck – all with panoramic views. Snacks and beverages, including wine and beer, will be available for purchase. Note: The tour boat is subject to change to a New York Water Taxi pending day-of conditions.

Directions to Pier 16: Subway: 2,3,4,5, E, J, Z or M trains to Fulton Street, or A and C trains to Broadway - Nassau. Walk east on Fulton Street to the pier.

About the Working Harbor Committee: The Working Harbor Committee is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to spreading the word about the rich history, current vitality and future potential of the New York/New Jersey Harbor. The organization also runs an extensive youth education program. Full information is available at

About New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown: New York Water Taxi (NYWT), an affiliate company of The Durst Organization, Inc., has been a New York fixture since 2002. The fleet also includes the vessels of NYWT’s sister organization Circle Line Downtown—the speedboat-thrill ride Shark, and the luxury yacht Zephyr. NYWT’s mission is to provide entertaining, stimulating, and enlightening ways to see New York ‘s waterways.

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Betsy Haggerty
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