Bronxites kicked off the annual Flotilla this weekend, as canoers and kayakers embarked on the five-mile trip down the Bronx River, to celebrate the river’s revitalization and officially kick off the paddling season.
On Saturday, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver was joined by Bronx River Alliance Executive Director Maggie Greenfield, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Assembly Member Karines Reyes, Council Member Kevin Riley, Founder of Loving the Bronx and Chair of the Bronx River Alliance Board of Directors Nilka Martell, community groups and dozens of paddlers participated in the event.
“The amazing Bronx River Flotilla is circled on my calendar every year!” Silver said. “As we canoe down the river, it’s a reminder of the great natural beauty of the Bronx, and of our continued work to restore and revitalize the city’s largest freshwater river. I’d like to thank the Bronx River Alliance for their continued partnership and work caring for the river, without which this flotilla would not have been possible.”
Over 50 paddlers journeyed five miles down the river in canoes and kayaks, traveling past new and restored parks including the Bronx River Forest, River Park and Concrete Plant Park, ending at Starlight Park.
“This year’s Annual Bronx River Flotilla is extra special. After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are so excited to welcome the community back to the river for this annual celebration,” Greenfield said. “Additionally, we are so glad to be able to commemorate Commissioner Silver’s 7 years of leadership at NYC Parks. After a difficult year, it means so much to see this outpouring of community support for the Bronx River.”
In April , NYC Parks & The Bronx River Alliance teamed up on another annual river revitalization effort — the “Running of the Fish.” During this annual fish restocking, 250 Alewife, a type of river herring, are released into the river, as part of continued biodiversity revitalization efforts on the river.