HALLETS COVE — Get your kayaks ready.
Astoria Councilman Costa Constantinides wants to build an "eco dock" on the East River, a site where small boats could dock and local schools could run educational programs to allow students to interact with the waterfront.
"It's time that we return to our roots and once again connect with one of our greatest local resources: the East River," the lawmaker said Thursday night during his State of the District address.
"This simple project will offer Astorians from all walks of life a chance to reacquaint themselves with a world that for so long was neglected and disdained."
Constantinides is proposing that the dock replace a rotting pier near the Hallets Cove Playground, and be similar to one that the city built in Bay Ridge in 2013, where students are learning how oysters help the marine environment.
"We've seen in Brooklyn how it's gone from just a really good idea to actually a fantastic, real object," Constantinides told DNAinfo. "There's lot of educational programs going [on] there, local community groups are doing programs around the water."
Eco docks are built on pylons and float up and down with the tide, the councilman said. They are designed to be resilient in the face of storms and have a minimal impact on the environment.
The waters around Hallets Cove are shallow and would not be suitable for larger boats, but smaller crafts like kayaks could make use of a dock there, Constantinides said.
He also envisions local schools like P.S. 171 or the Astoria Library branch to learn about the ecosystem and environmental science, he said.
"The waterfront is really an underutilized resource in our communities," he said.
The councilman's office said they're still working out details on how to fund construction of the eco dock, though Constantinides plans to allocate some of his discretionary dollars for the project.
"I'm very invested in getting this done as quickly as possible," he said.