Sustainable Shorelines at Haverstraw Bay County Park

You may have noticed some shoreline changes at Haverstraw Bay County Park recently.  Hurricane Sandy left the shoreline in distress throughout most of the Hudson Valley, including Haverstraw Bay.  The Parks Department noticed that the natural beach areas received the least amount of storm damage compared to the hardened shoreline practices installed (like bulkheads and riprap).  Parks consulted with NYS DEC and a local landscape architecture firm to develop a soft shoreline design which was installed between 2015-2016.  This "soft" or more natural design used native local plants to stabilize the banks to the Hudson River. Additionally, the Parks Department was able to save money on decreased maintenance efforts because of the native plants and add a beautiful scenery to the park. In all, the shoreline changes were installed to make the Park more resilient to future storm damage.

The Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve network recently added Haverstraw Bay County Park as a case study site for their Sustainable Shorelines Project. Take a look at the case study report here: Haverstraw Bay Park Case Study

Parks_Haverstraw_Bay.jpg21 Gagan Road, West Haverstraw  10993
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Directions:  From Route 9W travel east on Railroad Avenue (County Route 94), Railroad Avenue becomes Grassy Point Road (County Route 108), turn right onto Gagan Road (County Route 109). Park is adjacent to Haverstraw Marina. There is parking for approximately 200 vehicles, plus 50 vehicles with trailers for boat launch. Buses over 10 tons prohibited. No parking for buses over 19 feet. Bridge Restriction: 10 ton limit.

Description:  27 Acres - The Park borders the Hudson River and provides water-based recreational opportunities. The site has a protected area to launch boats. There are also picnic facilities, an open air pavilion, playgrounds, nature and walking trails, Parks office, fishing piers, three which are located on a freshwater pond, and the Rockland County September 11 Memorial.

History:  The property has played a prominent role in the industrial development of Rockland County. Starting in 1771 the property was used for brick making by Jacob Van Dyke from Holland. He made bricks by hand which were used for fireplaces and chimneys. In 1815 James Wood, an Englishman, came to Haverstraw and established his first brickyard. Later he invented a machine for tempering clay. The first low-pressure steam brick dryer was invented by David Strickland in 1912 and in 1920 he created the Strickland Automatic Brick-making machine. Strickland created the oven-sized brick and introduced the coloring of common brick in the New York market. In 1906 a series of landslides caused by the mining of clay beneath the town destroyed part of Haverstraw. In the late 1950's the area was used as a staging site for the construction of New York City's Pier 57 and the Tappan Zee Bridge. The property remained vacant until the County acquired it for a park in 1999. Officially dedicated on July 21, 2003.

Present Use:  Boat launch, nature and walking trails, fishing areas, picnic areas, playground, and September 11th Victims memorial, Parks office. No boats or fishing poles available for rental. NO swimming or wading.

Future Plans:  To construct a nature trail around the pond.

Wildlife:  Belted Kingfisher, Mallard, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, Northern Cardinal, American Crow, Blue Jay, Song Sparrow, Great Black-Backed Gull, Northern Mockingbird, Black-Capped Chickadee, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Downey Woodpecker, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, White-Throated Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, Ring-Billed Gull, Gray Catbird, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, White-eyed Vireo, Whitetail Deer, Eastern Cottontail, Harbor Seal (seasonal), Raccoon, Woodchuck, Eastern Gray Squirrel.

Rest Rooms:  Yes. Handicapped facilities available.      Handicapped Accessible:  All facilities.