This is an advisory message. Due to this week’s substantial rain, bacterial counts are high in many parts of NY harbor as expected. The Citizens Water Quality testing program results for samples taken Thursday morning (after Wednesday’s big rain but before Friday’s) show Enterococcus colonies exceeding EPA standards for swimming, in Hallets Cove and many other sampling sites. We have therefore, in keeping with our promotion of safety for our paddling guests, canceled our walk-up paddling program at Hallets Cove for tomorrow.
How does this affect our “Here to Hellgate and Back Again” paddle? The trip is still on. However, it is up to each individual to decide whether to participate or not. There are currently no federal standards relating bacterial counts in the water to restrictions on ‘secondary contact’ or for ‘boating.’ The decision to launch or not is up to you. There will be no penalty, no embarrassment for those who choose to not paddle.
For those who do choose to go out on the water, we will meet at the Boathouse at 10 AM (or earlier) as planned. We advise precaution against capsizing and paddle splash. Your feet and seat are likely to get wet in our Ocean Kayaks. Our itinerary is modified slightly: we will paddle briefly into Hellgate, then into the Harlem River, where we expect to rendezvous with a large fleet of kayakers making a circumnavigation of Manhattan. Then we will proceed back to our boathouse. We ask all to participate in hauling our boats out and hosing them off and putting equipment away. This goes quickly when everyone pitches in. We expect to be all done before 2:30pm.
Those who are signed up for the Coney Island event tonight will have received email instructions for that outing. As of this writing, the event is to go on as scheduled.