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Marsha P. Johnson State Park

No erosion: A Brooklyn park with a sandy beach and river access

  • 420

    Feet More Waterfront

  • 7+

    Acres of Parkland

  • 100+


  • Brooklyn, New York

    Brooklyn, New York

A promising park design to improve waterfront properties in Brooklyn

East River State Park, located along the East River in Brooklyn, has a waterfront of approximately 420 feet and is one of very few places in Brooklyn where people can directly access the river. With bulkheads, piers, and other waterfront infrastructure, it’s rare to get your feet wet.

When the park owners wanted a park design with a sandy beach, our challenge was to stabilize the shorefront while providing public access. We used a detailed analysis of the wind, waves, and wake at the site to help us determine that the most appropriate solution was a soft design, including sand, strategically placed stone, and plantings.

The plantings provided stabilization—combatting erosion—and were consistent with those already in place. Further, once construction was complete, we helped organize and participate in the New York State Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation’s annual “I Love My Park Day,” where the public came together to plant hundreds of spartina along the shore of the park, helping mitigate erosion even more and creating a strong sense of community.  

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