Reps. Nadler, Maloney Announce Introduction of 'Governors Island Preservation Act of 2001'

May 3, 2001 Issues: New York and Our Neighborhoods

Washington D.C. - At a press conference at City Hall in Manhattan, Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Carolyn Maloney announced the introduction of bi-partisan legislation to return Governors Island to its rightful owners, the people of New York.  Along with Representatives Ben Gilman (R-NY), and with the support of Governor Pataki and Senators Clinton and Schumer, the ‘Governors Island Preservation Act of 2001’ was introduced in the House of Representatives.  The legislation is designed to transfer ownership of the Island from the federal government to the State of New York.

“I believe we are taking a major step forward in transforming Governors Island from a sleepy little island into a place where New Yorkers can go to experience and enjoy our history, spectacular views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, recreational activities, or literally, a walk in the park” said Rep. Nadler.  “While I am proud of the work that we as a state delegation have done to get to this point, we must now work even harder to turn our hopes for the Island into a reality.”

"A few months ago, President Clinton answered our call to declare the forts on Governors Island national monuments," Maloney said.  "Now, it's up to the Bush Administration and the leadership in Congress to give back the rest of the island.  Our legislation builds on the magnificence of New York Harbor, including Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and protects Governors Island from becoming a national disgrace.  It welcomes all Americans to the island and it's the right thing to do."

Governors Island, located in Rep. Nadler's district, is one of New York City's natural treasures.  Since being vacated by the United States Coast Guard over four years ago, and deemed surplus property by the General Services Administration, it has sat idle.  The Governors Island Preservation Act of 2001 would transfer the Island to the State of New York at no cost.  Additionally, the legislation calls for the development of the Island to be consistent with the plan created by the Governors Island Task Force, which Reps. Nadler and Maloney served on.  Part of that plan included creation of a conference center, museum and cultural facilities, and at least 50 acres of open space.   Additionally, it called for preservation of Fort Jay and Castle Williams, a move realized early this year when former-President Clinton designated the sites as national monuments at the urging of Reps. Nadler and Maloney.

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992.  He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Rep. Maloney has also served in Congress since 1992, representing the 14th Congressional District.