New York Harbor

A Geographical and Historical Survey

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About the Book

The harbor connects New York to the Hudson and then to the rest of the United States. Over the years, the harbor has been home to transatlantic passenger ships, cargo transports, island ferries and tugboats. The harbor is one of the largest in the world, in size as well as diversity. Providing one of the few natural ports along the unbroken beaches of the East Coast, New York Harbor has given year-round shelter and inland access to America’s shipping vessels for more than 200 years.
This work provides a detailed look at the history, physical characteristics and ever-changing role of New York Harbor from its 1800s heyday to the more leisurely, quiet port of recent years. It describes the technical aspects and geographical features of America’s best-known harbor. Groups instrumental in the development and operation of the port—including the Port Authority, the Coast Guard and the Sandy Hook Pilots—are also discussed. Special emphasis is placed on environmental issues confronting the region, including the ever-present threat of pollution and the desire for recreational use of the waterway. The book contains facts about the harbor. It supports suggestions of ways to meet the challenge that New York Harbor faces. Additional topics include the dredging of Ambrose Channel, the Black Tom explosion, World War II, the World Trade Center attacks and the historical impacts these events had on the harbor, and possible plans for the port.

About the Author(s)

The late Arthur D. Kellner was an Industrial psychologist in New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Arthur D. Kellner
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6428-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       v

Introduction      1

1. The Port from a Physical Perspective

A Port in Transition      5

The Waterfront Transformed      11

Entering Port: The Lower Bay      14

The Narrows and Upper Bay      19

Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill      22

The Hudson River      27

The East River      30

The Harlem River      40

The Gowanus Canal      45

Newtown Creek      50

Notable Bridges of New York Harbor      55

Waterfront Diversions      64

2. Port Management and Operations

Who Controls New York Harbor?      74

The Role of the Port Authority      76

The United States Coast Guard      85

The United States Army Corps of Engineers      90

Railroads      93

Sandy Hook Pilots      99

Tugboats and Towing      103

Return of the Ferries      109

3. Contemporary Issues

Dredging      118

The Environment of the Harbor      120

Tides and Fast-Moving Currents      123

Recreational Use of the Harbor      127

The Rise of Community Organizations      131

4. Major Events in the Harbor’s History

The Dredging of Ambrose Channel      135

The Clearing of Hell Gate      137

The General Slocum Steamboat Excursion Disaster      141

The Black Tom Explosion      147

World War II and New York Harbor      150

The World Trade Center Attacks of 2001      155

5. Conclusions: A History and Future of Constant Change

Change Comes to New York Harbor      162

Reasons for Change in the Harbor      165

The Future of New York Harbor      169

Chapter Notes      177

Bibliography      183

Index      189

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Sea History.