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Fire boat, John J. Harvey spraying water

Promoting our harbor's vitality, history, and importance today and in the future...




New Tour:
Forgotten Harbor, Found in Art
11 Oct from 2 - 4pm from
Circle Line Pier 83 in Manhattan

Join the Working Harbor Committee on a Hidden Harbor® Tour
of NYC History Captured in Public Art You Can Visit.

Sunday, October 11 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
on a Circle Line boat leaving from Pier 83
located at W. 42nd St. & 12th Ave. in Manhattan.


Our tour will take us to places in the harbor where famous scenes have been captured in public art you can visit in NYC!

Expert narrators will give you a unique perspective of NYC through its rich maritime art history - from pre-Colonial times of the Lenape Indians through present day. This Art History Hidden Harbor Tour includes a full-color booklet with a synopsis of the art and artists featured - as well as where you can visit these public works of art in person.

The 2-hour, fully narrated boat tour departs at 2:00PM sharp. Boarding begins at 1:30PM from Pier 83 in Manhattan located on West 42nd. Street and 12th. Avenue (Hudson River). Snack bar on board.

Tickets: $30; $25 seniors.

For group sale rates, email

Click Here to Download Flyer

Gowanus Bay Tour:
Including Erie Basin, Red Hook & Sunset Park.
25 Oct from 2-4pm @ Pier 11

Go behind the scenes on our Hidden Harbor Tour® of Gowanus Bay including Erie Basin, Red Hook and Sunset Park!

Sunday, October 25 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
leaving from Pier 11 in lower Manhattan.


Come explore the changing face along the South Brooklyn’s waterfront! Learn about the history of Red Hook, Gowanus Bay, Erie Basin & Sunset Park with the Working Harbor Committee. Our expert narrators will enthrall you with tales of how the shore along the harbor’s Upper Bay were once filled with manufacturing, shipping, and commerce.

See the new waterfront recycling facility at Gowanus Bay with its wind-turbine, the slag ship MV Loujaine and the Big Grain Elevator close-up. We’ll open up the the Hamilton Bridge and tip into the Gowanus Canal, and onto Bush Terminals Piers Park in Sunset Park.

The 2-hour, fully narrated boat tour departs at 2PM sharp. Boarding begins at 1:30PM from Pier 11 Wall Street in Manhattan located on South St. between Wall St. & Gouverneur Lane. Snack bar on board.

Tickets: $30; $25 seniors

For group sale rates email 

Click Here to Download Flyer



23rd Annual Running of the
Great North River Tugboat Race
& Competition
a great sucess!!

Thank You to all who came out and all the tugboats, towboats, fireboat & safety boats that participated. It was a glorious day with a great turnout & fullhouse on the spectator boat!

Click Here to Read All About it in the WHC Blog

For info on our upcoming
Summer Hidden Harbor Tours
& More

 Click here for donations in memory of Captain John Doswell 

Fair Winds
Captain John W. Doswell


Captain John W. Doswell, our captain, our North Star, our guiding light passed away on Friday 2 January, 2015 and the WHC family and the whole waterfront community has been reeling from the news.

I have barely parsed the news of his passing and am now faced with this daunting task of writing a eulogy befitting of my friend. So many things to say about Capt. John…where to start?

Captain John W. Doswell

John Doswell was a bona fide superhero. He created beauty from decay, he restored life to stagnant waters, he built people into a community, where before there was none.

You could always find John working. The man never stopped doing. There were piles of documents neatly stacked in the “dungeon” – the basement office from where Capt. John would steer the constant stream of waterfront projects, events, educational programs, working harbor tours and more. With that wry smile of his, he worked tirelessly on, even when he discovered he was ill.

John was so passionate about the ‘6th boro’ he dedicated the last decade of his career to our waterfront. He founded Friends of Hudson River Park, and Pier 84 is what it is today because of him. He was an integral member of many illustrious waterfront organizations and committees – North River Historic Ship Society, Community Board 4, Save Our Ships New York and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, to name a few.

He was one of the original group of friends who bought the Fireboat John J. Harvey, and helped to restore her to working glory. He was onboard the fireboat, pumping water onto Ground Zero on 9/11 and he was onboard (with a flask of hot chocolate under his arm) safeguarding her during Hurricane Sandy.

But for me, he was the ‘guy who made things happen’. As executive director of the Working Harbor Committee, John would orchestrate the most amazing extravaganzas. 22 years of Tug Boat Races, international ship visits (including a 16th century replica of a Spanish Galleon), OpSail 2012, where part of the challenge was to find berthing for dozens of vessels from around the world.

Only one man could make it all happen. Doswell.

John would narrate every single harbor tour, enthralling boat-loads of passengers with details about the workings of our magnificent harbor, peppered with stories of lighthouse keepers and fireworks disasters. The thought of never hearing his ‘fireworks story’ again as we approach Erie Basin, makes me immeasurably sad.

If you wanted to know pretty much anything about New York Harbor, you could ask John. I will always regret not asking John more stuff. I thought I had more time.

But beneath all the hustle and bustle stood this really great man. Smart, funny and sincere, John was a kind, loving and supportive husband, father and friend.

His love and passion for the waterfront paled in comparison to his love for his daughter Jhoneen and his life-partner wife Jean. In perfect sync, they were always together, whether working to save a historic ship from scrap or traveling together to exotic seas. Their love and respect for each other so evident and beautiful.

John, always gracious, welcomed everyone with open arms and an open heart. He never spoke an unkind word about anyone, or lost his temper, that I know of. His positivity permeated everything he did.

Every obstacle was a challenge we could overcome, every set back merely a springboard to success, in every dark cloud he would see only the silver lining.

We have lost a great teacher. We have lost a great leader. We have lost a great man…

Fair Winds Captain John.

-Mai Armstrong

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By Mai Armstrong


Check out Working Harbor Committee's
YouTube Channel

Click Here
for an important NY Times article about the future of the NYC seaport district by Paul Greenberg, Roland Lewis & Joan K. Davidson

Click Here
for a great blog write up about
a recent Hidden Harbor Tour
by Claude Scales

Click Here
for a great article about our Hidden Harbor Tour to Newark Bay
by Peggy Taylor










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