Waterfront Conference Floating Follow-Up


Picking up where the 2010 Conference left off

Spirit of NJ Continuing our Harbor dialogue on Entertainment Cruises’ Spirit of New Jersey: Please join us for this follow-up to MWA’s highly successful 2010 Waterfront Conference held in November 2010. Over 350 elected officials, experts, and invited waterfront leaders will gather to plan for the future of our waterfront and its governance, using the newly released NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and the harbor-wide Comprehensive Restoration Plan as our guides. Waterfront experts from throughout the region will lead panels and discussions in a workshop setting emphasizing strategies to keep up momentum for waterfront revitalization despite difficult economic times. Smart, forward-thinking planning and waterfront development will help ensure the New York - New Jersey region remains at the lead of the global economy in the 21st century. Together, we’ll celebrate the newly formed Harbor Coalition and the designation of our harbor as one of America’s Great Harbors and close with a spirited happy hour.

Featuring Keynote Speaker Chris Ward

with remarks by Christine Quinn, Speaker, New York City Council US Representative Carolyn Maloney US Representative Jerrold Nadler US Representative Paul Tonko US Representative Nydia Velazquez James Simpson, Commissioner, NJ DOT

See a video recording of the plenary speeches.



Panel Descriptions

Session I: 12:45pm - 2:15pm

Regional Ferry Service: How will we move toward a regional water transit authority? In a workshop forum, this panel will talk about the policy rationale for ferry service and ways to improve and preserve regional ferry service. The workshop will examine the viability of markets, the economic benefits and costs of ferry service, the need for integrating ferry service with emergency response, and the need for government to prioritize a wide range of infrastructure improvements for ferry service. Speakers from other parts of the country including the San Francisco Bay Area will lead the discussion and prioritize a regional ferry service action agenda. Moderator

  • Pierre Vilain, HDR Inc.

Featured Panelists:

  • Ian Austin, URS Corporation, San Francisco
  • Genevieve Boehm-Clifton, New Jersey Department of Transportation
  • Janet Cox, Port Authority of NY/NJ
  • John Sindzinski, San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority
  • William Wheeler, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Madelyn Wils, NYC Economic Development Corporation


Waterfront and Harbor Governance: We are creating a 21st-century waterfront - now is the time to begin development of new waterfront governance mechanisms This panel will feature waterfront cities around the world that have retooled their governance systems to provide better management, spur investment, and encourage redevelopment of waterfronts into accessible and inviting places. From redevelopment corporations, to new waterfront agencies and innovative interagency initiatives, this panel will present best practices from leaders who are successfully transforming their cities’ waterfronts and addressing challenging issues such as regional coordination, communication, implementation, financing and regulatory reform. Moderator

  • Bob Yaro, Regional Plan Association

Featured Panelists

  • Ann Beier, Director, Office of Healthy Working Rivers, City of Portland
  • Marshall Foster, City Planning Director, Seattle Department of Planning and Development
  • Will Travis, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

Panel Respondents

  • Chris Ward, Executive Director, NY/NJ Port Authority
  • Amanda Burden, Commissioner, NYC Department of City Planning


    Session II: 2:30pm - 4:00pm

    A Great Water - What makes the New York-New Jersey Estuary a Great Water and the launch of the Harbor Coalition: Launch and debut of the NY-NJ Harbor Coalition This panel will introduce for the first time the goals and preliminary plans for the launch of the Harbor Coalition. Harbor Coalition Steering Committee members and coalition experts will serve on the panel and look to the audience for input on funding priorities and the ways the Harbor Coalition can be successful. The discussion will also highlight ways for new coalition members to get on board, how the coalition will function, and ways the coalition will organize political and nonprofit constituencies in New York and New Jersey to effect real change. Moderator

    • Laura Hansen, J.M. Kaplan Fund

    Featured Panelists

    • Chad Lord, NPCA
    • Marc Matsil, Trust for Public Land
    • Rob Pirani, Regional Plan Association
    • Elizabeth Ruebman, NY/NJ Baykeeper
    • Peggy Shepard, WEACT for Environmental Justice


    Regional Sediment Management and Dredged Materials Management – The Necessary Action Steps for a Bi-State Solution: Kick-starting the Regional Sediment Management Plan and solving the looming dredge crisis Upland placement capacity for non-HARS suitable dredged material is becoming increasingly limited and maritime entities face escalating costs to dredge. This panel will focus on the long overdue need to put the Regional Sediment Management Plan into place and the overwhelming need to foster bi-state collaboration to reduce dredging costs and beneficially use dredged sediments to obtain harbor restoration goals and maximize opportunities for transporting goods by water. Moderator

    • John Tavolaro, United States Army Corps of Engineers

    Featured Panelists

    • Scott Douglas, New Jersey Department of Transportation
    • Andrew Genn, NYC Economic Development Corporation
    • Matthew Masters, NY/NJ Port Authority
    • Jennifer Samson, Clean Ocean Action





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