The Council of the City of New York
Office of Council Member Costa Constantinides
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2015
Contact: Shachar Sharon
Constantinides Announces Waterfront Revitalization at Festival
Astoria, N.Y. – City Council Member Costa Constantinides hosted a Waterfront Festival in conjunction with Waterfront Alliance at Hallets Cove Playground. The festival featured activities for children including a touch tank that encourages hands-on interaction with marine life, sand art, an inflatable castle, arts & crafts, and a beach cleanup where over 20 pounds of trash was cleared. Constantinides also gave an educational presentation about his plan for revitalizing the waterfront.
Constantinides said, “Our waterfront is our next frontier and we must use this resource to its fullest extent. As the leaders of tomorrow, children must learn these lessons today. I was proud to impart lessons about the water’s resources and sustainability to families and children in our community.”
The waterfront revitalization plan includes allocating funding to projects along Astoria’s Hallets Peninsula. For this fiscal year (FY ‘16), Constantinides secured funding for a new Eco-Dock in Astoria. The Council Member and Borough President Melinda Katz allocated $1 Million each and Borough President Katz also committed continued support during the following fiscal year. This dock would bring waterfront access and education directly to residents of the Astoria waterfront, a community that has been cut off from accessing the water for decades. The eco-dock would provide the opportunity for environmental and marine programming for students, as well as a kayak launch for the community.
Play areas along the Astoria waterfront will also be upgraded. Constantinides secured $1.21 Million for improvements at Hallets Cove Playground – $1 Million from Borough President Melinda Katz and $210,000 from his discretionary budget. He also allocated $350,000 to NYCHA Astoria Houses for upgrades to its basketball court.
Revitalizing Astoria’s waterfront will also include improved transportation access to Hallets Peninsula. Ferry service will be brought to the 22nd District in 2017, providing a vital transportation option for Astoria residents to connect with Manhattan, Long Island City, and Roosevelt Island’s new technical university. Astorians that live near the soon-to-be-built ferry dock live close to Manhattan in terms of mileage, yet it takes over 45 minutes to commute to Manhattan via public transportation. The ferry will be an integral use of the waterfront, help transform the way residents move around the city, and will be accessible for the cost of a MetroCard.
Constantinides continued, “We are at a turning point for our community. Utilizing our waterfront for ferry service will transform the neighborhood and help change transportation paradigm for those who live close to the dock. I also look forward to the eco-dock, which will help educate children in our area and further transform Hallets Peninsula. I am grateful to Borough President Melinda Katz for helping to fund these revolutionizing projects.”
Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on six additional committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.