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Army Corps Shares Its Waterborne Mission at Event in Downtown Manhattan

Published July 17, 2018

Joseph Seebode, New York District's deputy District engineer, engages a visitor at New York City's South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan during City of Water Day, July 14, 2018. Thousands of people enjoyed a sun-filled afternoon celebrating the heritage of New York's waterfront community.


New York District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Richard Gussenhoven speaks to a visitor at Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan at City of Water Day, July 14, 2018. The event provided an opportunity to discuss the Corps' water-resource missions in the region. (Photo: James D'Ambrosio, public affairs specialist)

The New York City of Water Day got underway on Saturday, July 14, at the South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan.  

The venue was big again in what is considered an event that brings together the public, water enthusiasts and families curious about what is ongoing in the harbor, river and port ― in a festive atmosphere. It’s described by many as a festive outdoor activity of water-themed events that are perfect for summer.   

Sponsored by the Waterfront Alliance, a nonprofit advocating public involvement in water-based activities, thousands enjoyed a sun-filled day of activities and learning from more than 25 organizations participating in the event.    

There were pier-side information booths, and various watercraft that sailed along the East River including a Corps’ debris-collection vessel most visibly on the Harbor ― the Army Corps collects floatable debris and removes navigational hazards such as wood, trees, tires, plastic waste, cardboard, seaweed, and street runoff-related materials. The Driftmaster showed off its massive crane that has been used during debris removal operations, ironically used for a helicopter recovery in the same river. 



The District took advantage of the opportunity to share its initiatives and educate the surrounding communities and shine a spotlight on how important and valuable the Harbor is to the region and the nation. Pier-side, display booths were staffed by the Corps and driven by the District ― Lt. Col. Richard Gussenhoven, District Deputy commander, and Joseph Seebode, deputy District engineer for the Programs and Project Management Division ― who sparked the Corps-themed favorites such as the waterborne missions in and around the water of New York City.  

Gussenhoven and Seebode greeted visitors to the District’s booth attracted by large poster-size displays of its missions such as deepening the shipping channels in the harbor to accommodate large container ships, dredging, removing hazards from area waters, and restoring marsh islands in Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., by beneficially using dredged material.

Seebode engaged in a detailed discussion of the types of rocks found in beneficially-reused dredge material from the New York Harbor and Gussenhoven spoke at length with people about the broader scope of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ missions. 

“City of Water Day is always an excellent venue to tell the larger community about our water-resource missions,” said Col. Thomas Asbery, Commander and District Engineer, New York District.  “Our diverse programming provides services for New York-New Jersey Harbor and surrounding areas.” 

“It was great meeting so many different people talking about our District’s role in New York Harbor and area waterways,” said Gussenhoven, adding, “Many people are unaware the Army Corps’ plays a major role in programs and projects benefiting the Harbor and area waterways.”      

To see a video about the event, click here.