New York 2100 AD: Saved by the Bay

Brooklyn, August 10th, 2100: a summer story

“Do you remember the summer of 2075, when the hurricanes hit? Do you remember how it was before the water got so high?” I asked my friend. We were sitting together on the stoop of our Brooklyn brownstone, it was a sweltering day, 105° F.

“I remember how the sewage used to flow into the water every time it rained. It was a mess when they still called it the Upper Bay. That was a long time ago, and the water is about three meters higher now, and that old waterfront is now the Red Point Parks. Let’s follow the greenlines down there and swim, I can’t take this heat!” she said.

We jumped on our bikes and followed the shallow canal of grasses and trees through Park Slope and down to Red Point Park 33. The old sewage overflow was gone – now at the end of the greenline you could see clean water burbling from the outflow, right before the pier started. Extending through a wetland, the vast new pier stretched out into the bay, alongside old foundations and ancient raised warehouses missing their first floors.

We stripped down to our bathing suits and jumped off the side of the pier where the marshy vegetation gave way to deeper water filled with eelgrass. They say it’s almost clean enough to drink now, and the sturgeons are back.

“Thank god for this luxury that we have at our doorstep. The wetlands even protect us from the hurricanes. Storm buffers you can relax in!” She sighed, floating on her back in the cool water.

“Do you want to go to Governor’s Island Beach this weekend? We can rent an electric boat at the Brooklyn Water Hub. I want to check out diving lessons. Let’s pick our own oysters from the reefs for dinner!” I said, splashing.

We were both enjoying the park, and happy in a city that knew how to adapt to the adversity it faced in the past. Our New York, our Central Bay.