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Left: Tropical hardwood on Coney Island Boardwalk.  Right: Faux wood or plastic lumber on Steeplechase Pier. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Left: Tropical hardwood on Coney Island Boardwalk. Right: Faux wood or plastic lumber on Steeplechase Pier. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last month, news that the City was planning to turn the boardwalk into a concretewalk stirred up a storm at a community board meeting. Ruby Schulz spoke for many when she said: “This is an absolute disgrace. Having the boardwalk is a plus for this community—it’s historic. And you’re going to turn it into a sidewalk?”

Over the weekend on the Coney Island Boardwalk, JK Kanepa from Rainforest Relief and New York Climate Action Group was handing out fliers in English and Russian for a presentation and discussion on alternate solutions to the use of tropical hardwood and concrete for the boardwalk: “We want to hear your thoughts about recent development on the Coney Island boardwalk.” Here’s the press release and agenda for Tuesday night’s event at the Aquarium:

Rainforest Relief and NY Climate Action Group present Materials for a New City: 2. Alternatives to Tropical Hardwoods for Boardwalks

Tuesday, November 16, 2010: 7 PM – 9:00 PM

THE NEW YORK AQUARIUM, W. 8TH STREET & SURF AVENUE
(ENTER THROUGH REGULAR ADMISSIONS GATE)

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization,an area of rainforest the size of a football field is destroyed every second—that’s an area the size of Manhattan every three hours.

Join us for an evening of informative presentations by some of the nation’s leading experts on the use of recycled plastic lumber and domestic woods in boardwalk construction and decking. We have solutions that respect the look and feel of a traditional boardwalk and can make New York City’s Boardwalk a model for an exciting, sustainable future.

7:00 – 7:05: Poetry Reading: “Under the Boardwalk” by Michael Schwartz

7:15 – 7:20: Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (Invited), State Legislation on Tropical Hardwoods — A-10503: Tropical Hardwood Alternatives for MTA Railroad Ties

7:20 – 7:35: Tim Keating, Executive Director, Rainforest Relief: Tropical Hardwoods, Deforestation and Sustainable Designs for Boardwalk Construction

7:50 – 8:05: Douglas Murray, President, Kebony™ US: Kebony™ Modified Wood for Boardwalk Decking

7:35 – 7:50: A Short Film by Evelyn Carrigan: “Steeplechase Pier Boardwalk Renovation: Public Reaction to Recycled Plastic Lumber”

7:35 – 7:50: Dr. Richard Lehman, Chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Director, Advance Polymers Center, Rutgers University: The Development and Capabilities of Recycled Plastic Lumber and Recycled Structural Composites

8:20 – 9:00: Open Forum/Questions

For more info on Rainforest Relief and NY Climate Action Group, visit www.rfny.net.

(Update: The website http://savetheboardwalk.wordpress.com went live on March 5, 2012 while an online petition continues to gather signatures. The public hearing at the Design Commission is set for Monday, March 12.)

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