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Grimm, Schumer Secure Victory for SI Boaters; NPS Agrees to Rebuild and Maintain Nichols Marina at Great Kills Park
TODAY - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Michael Grimm today announced that the National Park Service (NPS) Director Jonathan Jarvis has agreed to maintain Nichols Marina at Great Kills Park on Staten Island. Earlier in the month, Schumer and Grimm stood alongside local boaters and called on NPS to commit to maintaining the marina at Great Kills Park and allow it to rebuild after 350 of its boat slips were swept away due to Superstorm Sandy. Schumer and Grimm have been advocating on behalf of the “Committee to Save Great Kills Park Marina Community,” and today personally met with NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis. After the meeting today, Schumer and Grimm announced that NPS will issue a three year concession contract to the current operator, Marinas of the Future. This will allow the Marina to remain open.
“This is great news for Staten Island’s boating community and our local economy,” said Grimm. “I’d like to thank NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis for working with me and Senator Schumer in reaching a quick agreement to rebuild Nichols Marina. The marina has served generations of Staten Islanders, and this agreement will allow it to rebuild quickly to continue its long-standing service to our community.”
“Thousands of boaters on Staten Island can finally breathe a sigh of relief because Nichols Marina will continue to be their home away from home and remain at Great Kills Park,” said Schumer. “The National Park Service initially made the wrong decision, but I am glad that Mr. Jarvis has corrected the error and sees that allowing Nicholas Marina to rebuild is clearly the right thing to do. The marina at Great Kills is a center of community life for so many Staten Islanders and I am very pleased that it will be back up and operating for the coming season and beyond. This is yet another reason why passing the Sandy relief bill was so important for our recovery and I’d like to thank Congressman Grimm for his hard work on this issue.”
Schumer and Grimm today announced that after this morning’s meeting with NPS Director Jarvis, the agency has committed to maintain the marina at Great Kills Park. The current operator, “Marinas of the Future,” will be issued a three year emergency contract. Under law, three years is the maximum amount that NPS can issue an emergency concession contract. “Marinas of the Future” received $1.4 million from their insurance company and if more money is necessary, NPS Director Jarvis committed to provide the marina with additional funding from the Sandy Aid Package. There is approximately $348 million of NPS funding in the Sandy Aid Package. This funding can be used to repair the wooden boat slips and bulkhead. Additionally, NPS Director Jarvis explained that after the three year emergency contract, the agency will issue a long-term competitive contract, with the goal of expanding services at the marina.
Nichols Great Kills Park Marina is part of Gateway National Recreation area, which is federally owned land, and the marina’s operator, Marina’s of the Future, runs the marina as an NPS concessionaire. Superstorm Sandy destroyed the marina and its 350 floating wooden boat slips were washed away because of the storm. The concession lease expired on December 31st.
As a result, a number of Staten Island residents formed a group known as, “The Committee to Save Great Kills Park Marina Community.” Schumer and Grimm have been working with the committee after receiving dozens and dozens of petitions from the committee asking for their support in rebuilding the marina. On January 16th, Schumer and Grimm requested a personal meeting with NPS Director Jarvis to discuss the importance of Nichols Marina.