The sun was shining brightly, and summer was in full swing, as residents flocked to the Canarsie Pier for a weekend of fun. Amid the local fishers and bike riders, a few community leaders teamed up to raise awareness for the Jamaica Bay Festival on the 6th Annual City of Water Day, held on Saturday, July 15th. The event was organized by the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy.
The Canarsie Pier served as one of the festival’s stops, where youth participated in a Junior Angler Fishing Clinic. Other locations such as the Rockaways, Fresh Creek, Sebago Canoe Club and Shirley Chisholm Park, among others, also offered activities for locals to participate in.
Assemblywoman Jaime Williams engaged with her constituents and emphasized the significance of the festival for the people of Canarsie, as most of Jamaica Bay lies within her district (59th AD). Canarsie boasts five marinas where residents can enjoy the waterways, and the availability of places like the Rockaways provides additional opportunities for people to embrace the water.
Also present at the pier was Caitlin Crouse from Rising Tide Effect. Caitlin and her team were on hand to share the five most important water safety tips for New Yorkers. Rising Tide Effect, a three-year-old organization, focuses on teaching swimming skills to underserved communities. This summer, the group is collaborating with domestic violence shelters, offering swimming lessons to family members affected by domestic violence.
The five safety tips they shared are:
Never swim without a lifeguard present.
Exercise caution around sandbars, as they may not be sturdy enough to support walking or standing.
Be mindful of drop-offs in the water.
Avoid getting caught in rip currents.
Refrain from entering the water after 6 p.m., as most drownings within the city occur after this time.