Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ASI's Cold Ironing Promise - I'm (still) not holding my breath.

I should be more excited about the latest reporting from Gary Buiso at the Brooklyn Courier (here), and also from The Word on Columbia Street blog (here), that American Stevedoring (ASI) is committed to pursuing the practice of "cold ironing" at the Brooklyn Container Terminal on the Red Hook waterfront, despite what is described as "resistance" from the Port Authority. Matt Yates, ASI's spokesperson, is saying that it will happen, stating that the container port operators think that "cold ironing" will be easily implemented at the port because the practice could be "accomplished without the need for the type or scale of modifications for cruise ship berth."

Yates' point was made in response to the Port Authority's statements on this matter, which noted that the creation of "shore power" infrastructure and the practice of "cold ironing" were currently only being pursued with cruise ships at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The Port Authority has a huge role in this, obviously, as they (and we) own the piers and without their commitment, financially and otherwise, it's hard to see how the decisions, planning and investments required to make this a reality will be made. Additionally, the Cruise Terminal proposal was aided by the input of funds from an EPA grant that essentially doubled the Port Authority's initial $3 million commitment. As far as I know, neither ASI nor the Port Authority has applied for such funding regarding the container terminal.

ASI's case, however, is bolstered by the backing of Community Board 6, with this quote from the Courier Article -

"Community Board 6 definitely backs the effort, unanimously approving the installation of “appropriate infrastructure” at Piers 8-10 last week."

“We are really in favor of expanding” cold ironing, said board member David Reiss."

My lack of enthusiasm regarding the container terminal operator's statements is not because I don't think it would be a great thing if they became a reality. It's more a mixture of slight cynicism regarding ASI's newly-found "conscience" regarding the environmental impact of their operations on their residential neighbors, combined with questions about the realistic, long-term, big picture practicalities of the plan, especially considering the uncertainty regarding the Port Authority's coming on-board with this proposal.

Regarding the realistic practicalities, I'm not sure that the assertions of ASI and the "un-named expert" regarding the "ease" of implementing "cold ironing" with container ships, as opposed to cruise ships, is supported by the experience at other ports. It doesn't exactly gel with what I've read regarding the implementation of such practices on the West Coast - as has happened at Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles and many others - where large (but worthwhile) investments have had to be made over the last decade, regardless of what kinds of ships are using the infrastructure. What has also been stated before (by the Port Authority and others) is that often it is harder to implement such practices with container and cargo ships as there is no "standard" yet for the plug in cables, power requirements, etc., and to co-ordinate such standardization between many and various shipping companies is harder than dealing with a handful of cruise operators (or one, like Carnival, as is the case at Brooklyn's Cruise Terminal). The latter point is acknowledged by Yates in saying that "agreements with the cargo companies will also be required".

Of course, I'm all for "cold ironing" all along the Brooklyn Waterfront, (I was quoted as saying so in the Courier article), but what I've also realized since delving into this world of port emissions and the challenges they pose to our port communities, is that the problems in our neck of the woods - in Red Hook and on the Brooklyn waterfront - are only a part of the huge challenges being faced by our entire city and region with port emissions - that's the "big picture". The Ports of New York and New Jersey are the third largest in the United States with their operations spread around the entire metropolitan area, from Brooklyn, to Newark-Elizabeth in New Jersey, Howland Hook in Staten Island and others. Despite the PANYNJ Ports' huge size and capacity, and their forecast for strong growth and expansion in the coming years, they are doing less than many of the other ports around the country regarding mitigating port pollution and addressing the impact of their operations on often vulnerable residents.

Admittedly, there have been some positive moves in mitigating this pollution - particularly with the newly announced "clean truck program". But apart from this program - in its early stages and limited as it may be - and some other measures (the conversion of some PANYNJ cranes to electricity or cleaner diesel engines, and the purchase of some cleaner train locomotives for the NJ ports) the only other major pollution mitigating proposal has been the EPA assisted "cold ironing" effort at the Cruise Terminals in Brooklyn, and eventually in Manhattan.

The Port Authority will have to deal with these big problems sooner or later - hopefully sooner. As shown by the clean truck initiative, and the other measures I noted, they have started to acknowledge that they have a role in reducing the negative health impacts their operations are having on the residents of this city, and they are being regularly reminded of the fact that air quality standards around their ports do not meet EPA standards. I'm also sure that the PA and the City of New York has taken note of the recent study that showed that the monetized health costs of the operations of the much smaller (10th largest) Port of Charleston were estimated to be $81 million a year - a figure that would surely be drastically extrapolated upward regarding our larger ports and more densely populated region.

So, as the Port Authority (hopefully) starts to address their port pollution responsibilities and follows the lead set by other ports around the country, they will surely be looking at how and where to implement their new health-improving initiatives. Where will they spend the money to build "shore power" infrastructure? Where will be the best place to co-ordinate with the shipping companies - to create the biggest impact and benefits? Where will they get most bang for their buck? My guess is that they will try to address the bigger ports first - the ones on the New Jersey side specifically. At those locations the investments that they make could result in "shore power" infrastructure that could service the majority of the ships bringing containers into New York and reduce the emissions from those ships significantly. The good thing about that would be that this would also improve air quality throughout our city. (My argument has always been that the port pollution issue wasn't of concern for only the closest communities to the ports, but for the entire city - air pollution doesn't pay any attention to neighborhood or state borders, and as the carcinogenic air pollution created at Red Hook's ports wafts through all of our neighboring areas - Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope and beyond, so does the pollution from New Jersey permeate the entire metropolitan area.) But, realistically, that would also suggest that the Red Hook Container Terminal - the smallest in size and capacity under the PA's control - would be fairly low on the list for economically viable solutions.

In the long run, the Port Authority has also stated their intention to relocate the Container Terminal to a larger, potentially more efficient and (what some say) more suitable location in Sunset Park. The PA's Executive Director, Chris Ward, has made such statements regarding Red Hook in the last year, asking "Is this where we want our last working containerport?", suggesting Sunset Park would be a better location, and the operators of the terminal have stated their willingness to move their operations to wherever the PA thought was appropriate. Representative Jerrold Nadler has also been a supporter of this idea, with the Sunset Park location's connection to Nadler's pet project - the cross-harbor freight rail tunnel - a logical bonus.

So my point is, with the long-term future unknown, with no commitment from the Port Authority, and with questions about its economic and logistic feasibility, is it realistic to expect that "cold ironing" will come to the Brooklyn Container Terminal any time soon?

ASI has made statements like this before. In July 2009, after the awarding of the previously mentioned EPA grant to the PA for the "shore power" infrastructure at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, ASI made a statement that they too were now pursuing "cold ironing" at the Container Terminal, as Matt Yates stated, "as quickly as regulatory and logistical conditions allow". I wrote a post (here), questioning their sincerity, considering the contradictory statements coming out of the Port Authority at the time, including this quote from Steve Coleman at the PA, from a Waterwire article (here) -

"There are not enough container vessels calling at the Brooklyn Container Terminal that are configured to receive shore power to offset the high cost of installing the shore power infrastructure."

So, keeping all of this in mind, and given ASI's not so good record regarding their concern for the community around them (four letters - S.A.L.T!) I'm sticking to my last statement on this matter -

"I'm not holding my breath."

But - not to be too cynical - I would certainly be thankful if the ASI statements lead to actions.

If I am being cynical, I can imagine that maybe ASI will get special treatment from the Port Authority. After all, Chris Ward, the PA's Executive Director, used to work for ASI. In 2005 the future of the container terminal was under threat with the City's plan to re-imagine the use of the Red Hook waterfront. Eventually, under great political pressure from ASI campaign donation recipients, Rep. Nadler, Council Member David Yassky and Speaker Christine Quinn (story here), the container terminal's future was secured with a 10-year, no-bid lease to ASI. Apparently it was ASI or no-one, despite their operations being the least profitable and productive of all the Port Authority piers - employing around 70 workers. Last year, ASI also got the deal to regain control of Pier 11 at the Atlantic Basin, taken over in 2005 by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) when they acquired Pier 12, the eventual site of the Cruise Terminal. ASI's regaining of Pier 11 was done by proxy through a murky "deal" with the Port Authority, facilitated by the Maritime Division of the NYCEDC through their 20-year lease with Phoenix Beverages, allowing Phoenix to relocate to the Red Hook waterfront at both Piers 11 and Pier 7 - even though Phoenix said they only needed one. (ASI now includes Pier 11 as being part of their property, not Phoenix's, on the plan on their web site). As a condition of both the 10-year initial lease to ASI and the more recent Phoenix deal that expanded the operations of the container terminal, neither party was asked to make any concessions to the community regarding port pollution mitigation (no Environmental Impact Studies were required). Nothing done with the ships, nor with the container-carrying trucks and the accompanying traffic congestion, nor was their any commitment to allow waterfront access, open space, waterborne transportation, etc., despite those elements being part of Red Hook's 197a plan, articulated in Community Board 6 guidelines, and supported widely in the community.

Despite Red Hook getting a raw deal from the Port Authority (and others) in these last examples, it is possible that the Port Authority, along with the City of New York, will start planning - again - for the long term health and prosperity of the community. Perhaps they'll come on board with "shore power" infrastructure for the container terminal, but I, for one, will understand if they don't. They've got bigger fish to fry, and not unlimited resources. I can see why they'd be happy to get the Cruise Terminal up and running, expand the practice to the Manhattan based cruise terminal, and then try to get a comprehensive "shore power" plan up and running for their major and most polluting container and cargo ports first - i.e. the big ones in New Jersey. I'm sure they'll have to prioritize and plan for their future needs - deciding where and how they can use their resources.

Maybe this will be an opportunity to re-evaluate the use of the Red Hook waterfront - to think about long-term goals and the real needs of the community, and to think about the big picture/vision thing. What are the impacts on our neighborhood of the plans for Governor's Island - a mere (almost literal) stone's throw from Red Hook's waterfront? Does the long-term future of a "green" Container Port lie elsewhere - in Sunset Park, as suggested by the PA, with rail connection and the investments made for the appropriate "shore power" infrastructure there? Will an extra cruise terminal be added in Red Hook? What can be done to reconnect Red Hook's residents and businesses to the waterfront?

Whatever the future, it's important in the medium term to try to make our Red Hook port as clean as possible - clean trucks (all of them) and better truck routes, cold ironing for the cruise ships (at least), low-sulfur fuels and speed limits for the ships visiting the container terminal (this will be helped in the coming years by the recent IMO ruling on the North American Emissions Control Area - see previous post), the conversion to electric cranes and other port machinery.

But if there is the opportunity to look at the big picture, the Port Authority and City need to think it through, come forward with their ideas and lay out their plans - long term and otherwise. They need to work with our community so that Red Hook residents and businesses can keep working towards a more productive, vibrant, cleaner and healthier neighborhood - especially on our waterfront.

Friday, March 26, 2010

From the EPA: IMO Adopts Proposal for USA ECA ... let me explain.

Yes, I know that's a lot of three letter acronyms in one sentence, but it's good news for port communities and the health of the citizens of this country (and continent) as a whole. Let me explain.

The IMO is the International Maritime Organization (an agency of the United Nations). In early 2009, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) had asked the IMO, on behalf of the US Government, to create a 230-mile buffer zone in the waters around the United States within which ships would have to use lower sulfur fuel, thereby reducing emissions including SOx, NOx, and Particulate Matter. This buffer zone, jointly requested by the Canadian government, is called the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA).

The good news has come, via an EPA press release (here), that this proposal has been adopted by the IMO, despite some protests from the cruise industry in particular, (story here). These protests came despite the fact that the EPA has stated that cruise ship pollution alone kills 8,300 people a year in the US and Canada.

This rule will apply to all large commercial ships using these waters - including container ships, oil tankers and cruise ships. Currently these ships commonly use extra-dirty diesel or bunker fuel that has sulfur levels up to 1000 times more than regular diesel and the resultant emissions contain substances that the EPA has labeled "likely carcinogens".

The EPA press release states -

"Enforcing the stringent ECA standards will reduce sulfur content in fuel by 98 percent - slashing particulate matter emissions by 85 percent, and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 80 percent. To achieve these reductions, tougher sulfur standards will phase in starting in 2012, ultimately reaching no more than 1,000 parts per million by 2015."

Also this from EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson -

“This is a change that will benefit millions of people and set in motion new innovations for the shipping industry. We’re gratified by the IMO’s decision to help keep our air clean and our communities healthy ..... The sulfur, particulate emissions and other harmful pollutants from large ships reach from our ports to communities hundreds of miles inland -- bringing with them health, environmental and economic burdens. Cleaning up our shipping lanes will be a boon to communities across North America.”

Also, the press release goes on to state that as a result of the cleaner air, "nearly five million people will experience relief from acute respiratory symptoms in 2020 and as many as 14,000 lives will be saved each year."

Again, this will be phased in over a number of years, and its implementation will not diminish the need for the further cleaning of ships and the activities of ports through the use of "shore power" and the creation of "clean truck" programs. But it's certainly a great step forward and will bring great health benefits to the residents of port communities such as Red Hook, Brooklyn, the greater City of New York and the nation as a whole.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ships Vs. Trucks - It's the Sulphur, stupid! (and all that other nasty stuff)

We've had some good news in the last week or so regarding the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announcing the first steps toward implementing a "clean truck program" at their ports, including Brooklyn's Red Hook Container Terminal. The Word on Columbia Street blog has a post (here) on the announcement from the Port Authority via the EPA (press release here). This is part of the Port Authority's clean air strategy that was announced in October 2009.

It's a welcome announcement, and one for which I'm thankful, having encouraged such a plan in my second ever post on this blog, (here). But when I say "first steps", it's because this is only the beginnings of what really should be a more robust plan to replace the dirty, older trucks with cleaner, newer ones, thereby reducing diesel emissions from those sources at the ports and in our communities while providing better conditions for the drivers.

As John Petro, Urban Policy Analyst at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, writes in this article, titled, "Killing at the Seaport: Port Pollution a Silent Killer" -

The PA of NY/NJ clean port program "isn't nearly as ambitious as it should be. The Port Authority currently has money available to replace 630 dirty trucks, but this is only about one quarter of the number of trucks that need to be replaced."

The overall "Clean Air Strategy" plan, in fact, which addresses mitigating pollution from all sources at the ports (trucks, ships, port machinery, harbor craft, trains, etc.), proposes reductions of SOx, NOx and particulate matter (PM) and sets a goal for reducing these harmful emissions by 30%. However, John Kaltenstein, Clean Vessels Program Manager for Friends of the Earth, writes this in his article in "Sustainable Shipping", titled "The Big Apple's big shipping pollution problem", comparing and contrasting the efforts of the East and West Coast ports -

"The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (the largest port complex in the United States), however, set a more impressive benchmark five years ago, with a goal of 45% emission reductions by 2012. According to 2008 data, they have achieved 35% reductions so far."

Which brings me, again, to the ships.

The Port Authority's "Clean Air Strategy" seems fairly tame regarding mitigating pollution from the ships themselves. The main proposals seem to center around a "vessel speed reduction incentive program", some other incentives to use lower sulphur fuels in the ports, and the plan to have cruise ships hook up to "shore power" at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and, sometime in the future, at the Manhattan Cruise terminals. It's all good, but there's no mention here of looking at expanding the use of "shore power" to container and cargo ships, as is being done on the West Coast and elsewhere.

Now, I hear you say, "but ships are the least of our problems".

An often repeated statement at meetings convened by New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Port Authority, when the plans for the expansion of the Red Hook container terminal were announced last year, (without Environmental Impact Study nor proposals for pollution mitigation at the port), was that "ships are the most efficient and cleanest way to move goods around the globe"... so, what were we worried about?

This is part of the common wisdom that shipping as generally "clean" and that the pollution that it creates, in the big picture, is not worth worrying about. In a recent NY Times article, "Slow Trip Across Sea Aids Profit and Environment", by Elizabeth Rosenthal, the subject is the speed reduction measures that shipping companies, such as Danish giant, Maersk, are undertaking in order to reduce emissions from their ships and to save money. This is called "slow (or super-slow) steaming". Again, it's a good idea, and one that reduces consumption of fuel and emissions from the ships by up to 30%. But what got me a little bristly was, in the article, when the writer states -

"Of course, mile per mile, shipping even at conventional speeds is far more efficient than road travel. Shipping a ton of toys from Shanghai to northern Germany churns out lower emissions than trucking them south to Berlin afterward."

But which emissions - and where do they have their impact? The concerns regarding shipping relate not to only to its overall polluting impacts on the globe - which some argue are not worth worrying about - but to the impact that shipping pollution has locally on the cities and contiguous port communities in which ships dock.

It's true that shipping any given tonnage of goods over a long distance is more energy efficient and creates less greenhouse gasses (mainly CO2) than trucks would. It's also important to acknowledge that the impact of ships' CO2 emissions is still substantial, and efforts to reduce shipping's contribution to CO2 emissions should be of extremely high importance.

This, from Marc Gunther at "The Energy Collective" (here) -

According to Richard Branson’s new NGO, which is called the Carbon War Room, the global shipping fleet is the equivalent of the sixth most polluting country in the world:

Annual CO2 emissions currently exceed one million tons and are projected to grow to 18% of all manmade CO2 emissions by 2050. Yet existing technology presents an opportunity for up to 75% gains in efficiency, with required investments repaid in just a few years.

Perhaps this is what he's talking about - (article here)

Still, ton-for-ton, shipping does create less CO2 than trucks or trains, and no-one gets sick or dies from inhaling CO2, right? - at least at these concentrations.

The real villains in the shipping pollution story, from the point of view of their negative impact on the health of humans - particularly on residents of port communities and their home cities - are the other pollutants :- Sulphur Oxides (SOx), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM).

These are the substances that the EPA described as "likely carcinogens" that also contribute to asthma, other lung and heart disease (among others) and contribute to the creation of smog. These are the substances that are created by the burning of extra-dirty diesel, as ships currently do while idling in port and at sea, at concentrations far above that of truck and train pollution with sulphur at levels up to 2000 times more than regular diesel. This is one of the reasons there are cancer clusters around ports, globally.

At the Ports of New York and New Jersey, the contribution of ships to the total pollution created by the port are as follows (by their own 2006 numbers) -

Ocean-going Vessels (ships)

SOx - 91%
NOx - 47%
Particulates - 62%
CO2 - 33%

As a comparison, here is the contribution from trucks -

Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles (trucks)

SOx - 1%
NOx - 25%
Particulate - 12%
CO2 - 37%

So, even though there's the recognition that truck pollution is a big problem that needs to be urgently addressed, it's clearly the ships that are creating the lion's share of the non-CO2 pollution - particularly when it comes to Sulphur, with a 91% contribution, and particulates with 62%.

John Kaltenstein's aforementioned article, noting that business at the Ports of NY and NJ has grown 100% since 1998, and is projected to double by 2020, puts the impact of these ship emissions in stark relief -

"EPA estimates that, in 2002, marine vessels in the port complex produced about 7,200 metric tonnes of nitrogen oxide, 570 metric tonnes of fine particulate matter, and 4,600 metric tonnes of sulphur dioxide.

A report from Environmental Defense Fund asserts that these ship emissions are equivalent to the emissions from 7.8 million new cars. Moreover, a recent study commissioned by the Coastal Conservation League finds that air emissions from an expanded Charleston, SC port could result in up to $81 million per year in monetized health costs."

This is something I wrote about here. John continues -

"Since the NY-NJ Port Authority dwarfs the Port of Charleston (Charleston has less than one-third the container volume of NY-NJ and less than one-eighth its cargo volume), its health costs, as well as premature mortality figures, are likely much greater." (my emphasis)

That's what we're worried about.

Yes, shipping is "more efficient" than trucks or trains - but it's really beside the point.

Shipping has a real responsibility to address its significant global impact - both with CO2 and these other dangerous emissions. When one of the world's biggest ships, in one year, creates as much SOx as 50 million cars - yes, 50 million! - it's a problem for the planet (check out this story). But additionally and importantly, it's the harmful health impact and resultant cost of shipping's SOx, NOx and PM emissions on the residents of cities and port communities that the shipping companies and operators of ports must address, and address urgently.

The Port Authority should be attacking this matter more aggressively. The "clean truck program" is a good start (a small but significant first step towards instigating a comprehensive and port-wide clean truck initiative and producing associated health benefits to the port communities). But the Port Authority's efforts on reducing emissions from the ships themselves need to be bolder. More initiatives moving toward the use of "shore power" at the container and cargo terminals around the area so ships can "turn off" and stop idling while in port. Strict regulations for the use of lower sulphur fuels in the area's ports and surrounding waters - preempting the U.S Government request, through the EPA, asking the International Maritime Organization to create a 240-mile emissions control area (ECA) - a pollution buffer zone - around the nation's coastline. (my post here)

This is what is needed from the Port Authority to ensure that ships truly live up to their somewhat ill-deserved environmentally friendly reputation. It's what's needed to reduce these emissions that the EPA describes as, "harmful to the pubic generally, and especially to our children, the elderly, people with lung disease, those who exercise outside, and low-income and minority communities located near ports."

So, good work of the truck front - but let's also deal with the elephant in the room.

The ships.

I'll leave the last word to Kim Thompson-Gaddy, a resident of Newark, Co-Chair of the North Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and mother of three asthmatic children, who at Drum Major Institute's Marketplace of Ideas event, "Improving the Air and Job Quality at Our Nation's Ports" on October 14, 2008, discusses why she advocated creating a coalition to address the unhealthy air quality in the neighborhoods surrounding the ports of Newark and New Jersey.

Her words - "Environmental Health Injustice"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Three Upcoming RED HOOK Events from - Falconworks, Urban Divers and PortSide New York.

With Spring around the corner, three Red Hook based organizations have sprung up with a number of worthy events they hope you'll support.

1) Falconworks Fundraiser, Monday, March 15, 2010. THE BELL HOUSE, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. 7:00 pm. -

Falconworks Artists Group, in their own words, "allows Brooklyn youth to make their own, well, anything. To finish this sentence anyway they want. To dream big. Dreams beyond situation and circumstance."

You may know Falconworks for their excellent "Off The Hook" youth theater / acting / play-writing programme. They are having a fundraiser.

CHECK OUT the details and buy your tickets on-line here and details about the event here.

Here's a brief description from Falconworks-


Prepare to party on Monday, March 15 That's when Falconworks invites the world to Brooklyn to celebrate past victories and raise money for future successes. The acclaimed Red Hook theater organization's Annual Benefit is a fundraiser disguised as a soiree – a chance to laugh, dance, network, and raise enough green to bolster all of our upcoming initiatives.


149 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY

7:00 pm

Monday, March 15, 2010

Suggested Donation, $100.

($100 at the door)

2) Urban Divers Earth Day Celebration, Sunday April 25th, IKEA/Erie Basin Park, 1pm- 5pm. -

The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy ( UDEC), will be hosting an EARTH DAY CELEBRATION event with its ENVIROMEDIA MOBILE- the spectacular traveling NATURE and MARITIME MUSEUM on wheels at IKEA/Erie Basin Park, in Red Hook on SUNDAY APRIL 25th, 1pm- 5pm. As part of the various activities that will be offered at the event. There will also be a RECYCLING program. Bring your OLD JUNK ELECTRONICS ( Carry-by-hand), your OLD READY TO THROW AWAY SNEAKERS for RECYCLING.

You can check out more information and a complete rundown of the Urban Divers' spring events schedule here.

Also, from the Urban Divers -

More Earth Day Celebrations....preceding Earth Day, on Sunday April 18th, 11am-3pm - "The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy returns with its tradition for the 11th consecutive Annual Gowanus Canal Earth Day Flotilla Spring Clean-up. This event will be quite special as it will also commemorate the celebration of EPA's Official nomination of the Gowanus Canal as a SUPERFUND SITE... Hallelujah!.. Hallelujah!... a beginning to real environmental quality, protection of public health and property. The Urban Divers will host an environmental education ecocruise aboard it unique 32ft indian shipping canoe that accommodates 21 paddlers at a time."

3) PortSide New York announces free community sails in the Spring.

This from Carolina Salguero at PortSide New York who have assisted in providing a winter home for these two schooners in the Atlantic Basin -

Those masts sticking up behind Pier 11...
That's the Clipper City
Clipper City
She is a 158' long topsail schooner. Rafted alongside her, with masts down, is the
Shearwater, a 82-foot 1920's luxury schooner yacht. Both have a winter berth on Pier 11, Atlantic Basin thanks to outreach by PortSide NewYork.

As part of the deal, they will offer some free community sails next spring once the vessels begin operating again.

The Clipper City is the largest passenger sailboat in the USA. The Shearwater was recognized as a National Landmark this March.
Both vessels are operated by Manhattan By Sail.

“We are excited about bringing the largest passenger sailboat in the United States to Red Hook, said Carolina Salguero, PortSide NewYork’s Founder & Director. “PortSide is working to animate NYC’s Bluespace, and our local goal is to bring more boats, visitors and economic activity to Atlantic Basin. We look forward to planning the community sails in the spring. We thank the EDC and the Port Authority for moving so quickly on approving wharfage terms for the boats.”

I don't have the details about the free sails yet, but keep an eye on PortSide's website, here, for updates.