A Swimming Pool In NY’s East River? It Might Happen, Say Planners

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  • NEW YORK (AP) — Forget schlepping to Jones Beach or down the Jersey Shore. A Brooklyn design team said Tuesday that New York’s East River could be the next great place for a summer swim. The backers of the floating Plus Pool — an Olympic-sized structure with cruise-like decking — said they’re on course to drop anchor in mid-2016 if they win approval from the city, the U.S. Coast Guard and other government entities.

    Project co-founder Archie Coates pitched the pool as be clean, safe and good for the environment and public perception. The goal, he said, is to “change the way New Yorkers see the river by giving them a chance to swim in it.” A city spokesman did not respond to questions Tuesday about the permitting process and the city’s approach to privately built works intended for public use.

    The pool’s backers said it would be different from all other floating pools — the city has had one at Barretto Point Park in the Bronx since 2007 — because it is designed to filter river water into safe, swimmable water. The Plus Pool would be anchored to the river bed and have a walkway to shore, but a permanent location has not yet been determined, they said.

    Project spokeswoman Kanessa Tixe said pool proponents have been in talks with several locations, including Brooklyn Bridge Park. Ideally, she said, the pool would find a home in the East River, but the Hudson River and Governor’s Island are other options.

    Co-founder Dong-Ping Wong said the Plus Pool would be like a “giant strainer,” built from filtration material that can remove bacteria and contaminants from a half-million gallons of polluted river water each day. That clean water would be cycled back into the river, he said. More than 3,000 people have contributed nearly $275,000 to a Kickstarter campaign to keep the pool project afloat.

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