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Urban Waters Partnership

Urban Waters and the Bronx and Harlem River Watersheds (New York)

The Bronx and Harlem River Watersheds hold enormous potential to provide natural beauty, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and economic incentives - all of which improve the quality of life of local residents.
Once, the area was home to various ecosystems including:

  • forests
  • meadows
  • marshes
  • swamps

Much of the natural habitat in the area has been displaced by urban development. Also, the legacy of pollution and contamination in the watersheds continues to be felt.

Some of the communities within these watersheds are among the poorest in the nation. They host an inordinate amount of the city’s solid waste, sewage treatment and electrical generation facilities. The largest wholesale food distribution center in the world, which generates over 12,000 truck trips a day, is also in the area.

This location, led by the United States Department of the Interior (U.S. DOI), faces the challenge of helping these overburdened and underserved communities reconnect to their waterways and achieve their own waterfront vision. A vision that includes new and improved open space and access to waterfront recreational opportunities including greenways and water trails for canoes and kayaks.

List of Partners

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Department of Interior, National Park Service
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Department of Agriculture
  • US Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • US Department of Transportation
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • US Forest Service
  • US Geological Survey

State Government

  • Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Office
  • New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation

Local Government

  • Amtrak
  • Congressman Jose Enrique Serrano's Office
  • New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
  • New York City Department of Design and Construction
  • New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • New York City Department of Environmental Protection
  • New York City Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Office of the Bronx Borough President, Rubin Diaz Jr.


  • Bronx Council for Environmental Quality
  • Bronx River Alliance
  • Christodora
  • Friends of Van Cortlandt Park
  • Hudson River Foundation
  • NY/NJ Harbor & Estuary Program
  • Riverkeeper
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Waterfront Alliance
  • Wildlife Conservation Society

Partnership in Action Report