The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






New York Harbor

New York Harbor is a geographic term that refers collectively to the bays and tidal estuaries near the mouth of the Hudson and adjacent rivers in the vicinity of New York City. In a narrower sense, the term is sometimes taken to refer specifically to Upper New York Bay.

In the broad sense, the term may be loosely taken to include the following bodies of water:

In socioeconomic terms, the phrase has historically implied the commercial activity of the port of New York City, including the waterfronts of the five boroughs and nearby cities in New Jersey on the Hudson River.

Throughout most of its history, the harbor has been the most important port in the United States and furnished one of the principal means by which passengers and goods were transported to and from New York City and the rest of the country, particularly after the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825.

Since the 1950s, New York City proper as a commercial port has been almost completely eclipsed by the container ship facility at nearby Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in Newark Bay, which is the largest such port on the Eastern Seaboard. New York City is still serviced by several cruise lines, commuter ferries, and tourist excursion boats.

A persistent misconception holds that the harbor is largely devoid of marine life. In reality, it supports a great variety of thriving aquatic species.

See also

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