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Free kayaking returns to Governors Island

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The program will run till mid-September but reopen next summer

Iwan Baan/Courtesy West8

The Governors Island Hills might be the main draw to the Island right now but the non-profit group supporting the area is throwing in another great summer activity into the mix. The Friends of Governors Island are collaborating with the Downtown Boathouse to bring back free public kayaking, with the dock on the Island scheduled to open tomorrow.

The previous dock was located at Pier 101 on the island but was destroyed beyond repair in 2014. With funds provided by the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office, the floating dock however has come to back to life. At a cost of just under $50,000 the dock was installed this summer.

There are just a few weeks of use left this summer however. The Downtown Boathouse will run its free programs on Saturdays through mid-September this year, but the schedule will get underway again next summer when Governors Island reopens in May 2017. The floating dock itself will be open to the public during regular public hours until the end of September when the Island ends its current season (visitors can bring their own kayaks for use during this time).

Folks at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School and the Billion Oyster Project will use the dock as a means for research and education during the off-season.

"Every New Yorker should have the opportunity to rediscover our connection to the harbor and waterways through free and low-cost boating opportunities at our parks and public spaces," Brewer said in a statement.

"The kayak dock is a true reflection of Governors Island’s adventurous and open spirit," Merritt Birnbaum, the executive director of the Friends of Governors Island added.