With the breeze catching the ribbon, the waterfront esplanade is officially opened to the public. Mayor Holzkamp is assisted in the ceremony by Randy A. Daniels, Secretary of State of New York while guests and award winners look on.
On a stage with a backdrop of blue water and bluer sky, Glen Cove Mayor Mary Ann Holzkamp stood at the city's new waterfront esplanade on Tuesday, Sept. 9 and before a crowd of 100 people accepted a prestigious 2003 Partnership Award from Coastal America, one of only nine such awards given nationwide. Dignitaries from the various agencies that make up the Coastal America consortium sat on the dais, including Randy A. Daniels, New York's Secretary of State; Roy Bernardi, assistant secretary, HUD; Brig. Gen. Merdith W.B. Temple, US Army Corps of Engineers; Anthony Cancro, Chief of Staff, EPA; Dr. Rick Spinrad, Assistant Administrator, NOAA's National Ocean Service and Virginia K. Tippie, director of Coastal America.
In her welcoming remarks, Mayor Holzkamp called the award something that must be shared by many. "It is a testimonial to the people of Glen Cove that all of us, together...have been getting it right. It is a testimonial to the years of work and the hundreds of people and many hundreds of hours spent meeting, planning and working to transform this waterfront. It is a testimonial to our county executive who had the vision and the fierce determination to attack the pollution not only in the creek, but also on the land." Smiling, the mayor continued, "We blew things up, we tore things down, we dredged and now we are almost ready to build. We started as a team nearly 10 years ago, that team is still intact...still getting it right. This award should be a constant reminder that it is everyone's job to be cognizant of the fact that our God-given gift, the beauty of nature, the frailty of nature and the sensitivity of nature must be recognized and protected...each and every day."
Coastal America's director Virginia Tippie praised the city and its partners for following the mission of Coastal America, to "protect and restore our coastal environment."
NY Secretary of State Randy A. Daniels remarked that Glen Cove is a shining example of what is going on statewide; that New York State is committed to restoring its waterfronts. Praising the success Glen Cove has exhibited through the restoration of brownfields, he stated the "whole community should be proud...to have the vision and to do the work. You have built consensus, followed through, gotten things done. That involves the whole community and strong leadership." Obviously a man of vision, Mr. Daniels said more than once that it is "our sacred obligation to the next generation to leave the air, water and land better than we found it. We can make laws, but we must believe we have personal obligation and vision. Glen Cove has demonstrated that vision can be a reality." Remarking that he is excited about the Glen Cove project, Mr. Daniels added that he is looking forward to doing more with the city, "a robust, vibrant place."
Anthony Cancro, representing the EPA, called Glen Cove "a story in the making," with active, hard-working people keeping it going. "This is not the first award the city has received from EPA; it is the fourth award."
Brig. Gen. Merdith W.B. Temple said he was honored to represent the US Army Corps of Engineers who play a major role in partnering to restore the nation's ecosystem, and called Glen Cove a "shining example-seeking to balance human development with environmental concerns."
Dr. Rick Spinrad, assistant administrator of NOAA's National Ocean Service told the crowd that as he has only been on the job for three months, he was thrilled that his first foray into the field was as part of "a real success story, seeing a wide range of federal, state and local government and non-government enterprises working as a model partnership, developing the critical elements of partnering." NOAA is anticipating a long term relationship with Glen Cove, which is fine with Dr. Spinrad, as he says that "what is going on in Glen Cove is an outstanding model of what is best about partnering. I consider it an honor to be affiliated."
Roy Bernardi, an assistant secretary with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says he knows that what is happening in Glen Cove stems from Tom Suozzi's dream and Mary Ann Holzkamp's pride. "A wonderful job has been done here. Now that the developers are on board, the real work begins." His emphatic remark that we must protect, preserve, restore and ultimately reclaim our coastline was tempered by his next comment, in a quieter voice, that "no one makes more coastline." He smiled as he said he knows his department has already heard from Glen Cove again, in an application for a brownfields economic development initiative grant in the amount of $1.4 million, and he knows this will not be the last, as Glen Cove is "not shy."
A number of awards were given to members of the organizations represented on the dais, after which Mayor Holzkamp officially opened the esplanade with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that just took off in the breeze. The mayor then invited everyone present to walk the esplanade over to the Regina Maris for a look around the reconstructed barkentine, a view of the Glen Cove Creek and Hempstead Harbor and a box lunch with cake for dessert. While the Regina Maris is no longer sea-worthy, she has been rebuilt as a part of the new waterfront, sitting aground, welcoming visitors to sit and relax, or if you are a child or one at heart, climb around the bow, check out the rigging on the masts and get a close-up look at the figurehead on the bow. The entire restoration has been done through donations of time, money, talent and just pure sweat and elbow grease. The Regina Maris has a story to be told, and the story just might have found its happy ending.