• City of Water Names

last modified October 29, 2010 by tomlowenhaupt

­­­New York is a port city composed of many islands with less than 10% part of the mainland. New Yorkers started opening the formerly severely polluted waters to recreational use two decades ago. Here we collect historic and current names of the city's water resources for reservation and allocation to responsible entities.

City of Water Day


    (Photo by Patti Lowenhaupt)






























Connecting.nyc Inc. hosted a table at the City of Water Day Festival on Governors Island in August 2010. The annual event, organized by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, is "a day of entertainment, education, and adventure for all to celebrate the potential of our waterfront."

Our decision to participate in City of Water Day was influenced by two "name" events. The first was reading a New York Times story about a woman complaining that the Bronx River and other city water bodies were either not identified accurately or at all on the new subway map.

The Times story brought to mind and a comment that Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry of East Elmhurst made several years ago at a public hearing. A developer had proposed removing a huge boulder that stood in the way of a new hotel near LaGuardia Airport. Jeffrion, three score at that point, noted that a stream once passed the beloved boulder when he was a kid (Killy Pond they called it) into which he and his friends would jump. These two water-name events led us to think about how city water bodies could be further identified and developed with good domain names, like BronxRiver.nyc

So we set up our table on that most glorious July day and asked the Governors Island celebrants to suggest names of city's water resources that we might reserve. Here's a list of names offered at City of Water Day. Of the many names offered, everyone's favorite was Dead Horse Cove. But it brought to mind that the interface between the water and land were also vital water resources and we've included them in the list.

The list is in active development and we welcome additions. Edit them into the wiki below or send your water names to info@connectingnyc.org.

Suggested Names

Many of the suggested names on Water Day were obvious, others made us rethink the scope of water names - such as Dead Horse Cove. Here's the list of names as started that day.

  • Annabelle Basin (Queens, across from Roosevelt Island)
  • Atlantic Basin (South Brooklyn)
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Bronx River 
  • Buttermilk Channel (Between Coney Island and Brooklyn) 
  • Coney Island Beach
  • Dead Horse Cove (Jamaica Bay, near Floyd Bennett Field)
  • Eastchester Bay (Near City Island)
  • East Lake  (In Jamaica Bay Wildlife Area) 
  • East River
  • Erie Basin (South Brooklyn)
  • Flushing Bay 
  • Flushing Creek
  • Gowanus Canal
  • Harlem River
  • Hudson River
  • Jamaica Bay
  • Killy Pond (Extinct, East Elmhurst)
  • Lemon Creek (Staten Island) 
  • Lispenard Creek (Extinct, Lower Manhattan)
  • Long Island Sound
  • Newtown Creek
  • Plum Beach
  • Rockaway Beach
  • Spuyten Duyvil
  • Tubby Hook (Marina in Northern Manhattan)
  • West Lake (In Jamaica Bay Wildlife Area)