The New York City Council is composed of 51 elected officials who are responsible for representing the voices of millions of constituents throughout the five boroughs. A majority of the City Council's work takes place in multiple committees and subcommittees that focus on specific topics of concern such as education, health and the environment. One of the most important of these groups for our coastlines is the NYC Council's Committee on Waterfronts.
Previously chaired by Councilman David Yassky, the Committee recently inducted a new representative, Michael Nelson of Brooklyn, as its Chair for the upcoming term. Other members of the Waterfronts Committee include:
- Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
- Gale A. Brewer
- Vincent J. Gentile
- Alan J. Gerson
- Melissa Mark Viverito
- James Vacca
As part of the Committee's responsibilities, its members convene monthly to introduce new legislation and discuss important waterfront matters. The most recent meeting of the Committee was held on February 16th, 2006, and was classified as an "organizational meeting" to set the agenda for the group in the current legislative session. Several topics were identified during that meeting as critical to maintaining the waterfronts of the Harbor as an environmental and economic resource in our region. Major agenda items included:
- Port Maintenance and Development
- Waterborne Transportation
- Parks and Open Spaces
In addition, the City Council and its committees are responsible for introducing legislation that affects the residents, businesses and natural resources in the region. Recently, multiple laws were introduced by the City Council's committees that would potentially benefit the local coastal environment and our waterfronts. They are:
Int. No. 97 by Council Members McMahon, Fidler, Foster, Gentile, Koppell, Mark-Viverito, Nelson, Recchia Jr., Sanders Jr., Weprin, Lappin, Liu and Lanza. A local law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to reducing the emission of pollutants from marine vessels that handle, transport or dispose of the City's solid waste and recyclable materials.
Int. No. 188 by Council Members Yassky, Brewer, Fidler, Gentile, Koppell, Mark-Viverito, Monserrate, Nelson, Recchia Jr., Sanders Jr., Weprin, Foster, Vallone Jr. and Lanza. A local law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to creating a plan to combat illegal dumping into the waterways of New York City.
Int. No. 189 by Council Members Yassky, Brewer, Fidler, Gentile, Mark-Viverito, Nelson, Recchia Jr., Sanders Jr., Weprin, Foster, Vallone Jr. and Lanza. A local law to amend the administrative code of the City of New York, in relation to increasing fines for violations of the law for illegal dumping along Waterfront property into New York City waterways.
Each of these pieces of important legislation, if and when adopted, will certainly have a positive impact on our local coastal resources. The New York City Council Committee on Waterfronts is a great example of democracy in action and with their continued good work we can look forward to increased conservation and restoration of the Harbor Bight.
For more information...
NYC City Council
Committee on Waterfronts