Carter Craft is director of Long Range Planning and Development for the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, located on Governors Island in New York Harbor. A waterfront planner, educator, and licensed Captain, Carter serves as a consultant to a number public and private organizations. He created the Waterfront and Wetlands Planning Class for the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute, and also teaches at Fordham University. He graduated from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service with a Masters of Urban Planning in 1998, and from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1993 with a B.A., majoring in Economics. Over the last fifteen years Carter has been involved in creating and growing more than two dozen water-related non-profit organizations.
In his capacity as Co-Chair of the Harbor Education Subcommittee of the full Harbor Operations Committee, Carter has been managing a mapping project for Port stakeholders for the last 18 months. Through this effort, representatives of Harbor Pilots, Tug and Barge Companies, kayak clubs and community boathouses have been identifying areas where the risk of collision exists between recreational and commercial vessels. This group is in the process of developing strategies and priority projects to reduce this level of risk.
For the Harbor School, Carter has served as their first Waterfront Director as well as the Project Manager for the MAST Center, a building which is being renovated to house the School’s aquaculture, SCUBA diving, vessel operations and vessel technology labs. Carter has managed the design, construction, installation and maintenance of the school’s first floating dock. This “oyster dock” is a 1,500 square foot steel structure that functions as an oyster nursery as well as a place for the school’s boats to land. Outside New York executed and oversaw the entire project, from organizing the initial interdisciplinary design workshop hosted by New York State DEC, to completing local, federal and state permit applications, to construction at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, to its installation on Governors Island with the help of the US Army Corps of Engineers.
From 1998 to 2008, Carter Craft worked as a co-founder of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, where he served in a variety of capacities focused on program development, communications, fundraising, and brand-building. During this time he also developed and executed numerous issue-based campaigns including: Action Agenda for the Waterfront (2008); East River Agenda (2007) Blue Links (2004) and Waterfront 21C (2001) and many, many water-related events and conferences, including the Inaugural City of Water Day. During that time MWA also initiated a number of best practices including 5,000 square feet of floating docks using recycled plastic lumber; innovative bulkhead design; and the first use of biofuel by an historic ship in NYC.
In his work at the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Carter created the first known “water use” map in the modern era. This map identified a suite of more than a dozen potential water-based activities ranging from small boat launches to freight ferry docks to wetland restorations, at more than 40 different locations between the Williamsburg Bridge and Newtown Creek on the East River. Used as an advocacy tool during the rezoning of much of Greenpoint and Williamsburg’s waterfront in 2003-2005, it was identified by Waterfront and Open Space Director at the Department of City PlanningBill Woods as a groundbreaking educational and planning tool which helped people understand the natural benefits as well as limitations of different types of shorelines, water depths, bottom conditions, currents and other aspects critical to physical planning for the waterfront and waterways.
Carter is a USCG licensed Captain (50 ton), a founder or co-founder of a number of waterfront organizations ranging from the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Clubto the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse, and a tour guide for organizations including South Street Seaport and the Municipal Art Society of New York.
For other projects and programs, see Speciality Areas