Beach Clean-up at Historic Denyse Wharf

Martin J. Golden

May 27, 2010

On Sunday May 23rd 2010, members of the Harbor Seals Swim Team, students from local schools, parents and teachers continued a tradition begun in 1985 by cleaning up the beach at Denyse Wharf. The DEP provided a dumpster to cart away tons of the marine debris including plastics, glass, metal, and driftwood. Senator Marty Golden stopped by to commend all who participated in the clean-up and to support community efforts to rehabilitate this landmark structure.

Denyse Wharf is a small piece of Fort Hamilton Army property located on the Brooklyn shore near the Verrazano Bridge. This site was named after a Dutch family who farmed the land during the 1700’s. On August 27, 1776, the Revolutionary War began with the British invasion of Brooklyn, known as the Battle of Brooklyn. Denyse Wharf was one of the locations where the British came ashore.

Over the years this historic site has been neglected. Efforts have been undertaken recently to get the site rehabilitated. In 2001, the NY City Board of Education did a feasibility study and concluded that a modest environmental science laboratory for K through 12 students could be constructed on the site. The plans also call for a public boardwalk /promenade on which historical plaques could be displayed depicting events associated with the Revolutionary War and the history of Fort Hamilton.

This proposed science lab and site restoration project enjoys broad support from local elected officials, community leaders, educators, students, Community Board 10 and the Army. Unfortunately, the project has not moved forward since 2001. Given our concerns about environmental issues and the need to upgrade science lab instruction in the schools, this regional science lab should be considered a top priority in the Capital Budget of the City of New York.