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[[Image:Waterways New York City Map Julius Schorzman.png|275px|thumb|right| HudsonRiver estuary waterways: 1. Hudson River, 2. East Rivermarker, 3. Long Island Soundmarker, 4. Newark Baymarker, 5. Upper New York Bay, 6. Lower New York Bay, 7. Jamaica Baymarker, 8. Atlantic Oceanmarker]]

Upper New York Bay, sometimes called Upper New York Harbor or the Upper Bay, is the northern area of New York Harbor inside The Narrowsmarker. It is enclosed by the New York Citymarker boroughs of Manhattanmarker, Brooklynmarker, Staten Islandmarker and the Hudson County, New Jerseymarker municpalities of Jersey Citymarker and Bayonnemarker.

It is fed by the waters of the Hudson River (historically called the North Rivermarker as it passes Manhattanmarker), as well as the Gowanus Canalmarker. It is connected to Lower New York Bay by the Narrows, to Newark Baymarker by the Kill Van Kullmarker, and to Long Island Soundmarker by the East Rivermarker, which despite the name, is actually a tidal strait.

It provides the main passage for the waters of the Hudson River as it empties through the Narrows. The channel of the Hudson as it passes through the harbor is called the Anchorage Channel and is approximately 50 feet deep in the mid point of the harbor.

It contains several islands including Governors Islandmarker, near the mouth of the East River, as well Ellis Islandmarker, Liberty Islandmarker, and Robbins Reefmarker which are supported by a large underwater reef on the New Jerseymarker side of the harbor. The reef was historically one of the largest oyster beds in the world and provided a staple for the diet of all classes of citizens of New York Citymarker until the end of the 19th century, when the beds succumbed to pollution.

Historically it has played an extremely important role in the commerce of New York City. Entering the Upper Bay by a passenger ship provides for the first glimpse of the Statue of Libertymarker and became the hallmark image representing the immigrant experience during the late 19th and early 20th century.

Since the 1950s, container ship traffic has been primarily routed through the Kill Van Kull to Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminalmarker, where it is consolidated for easier automated transfer to land conveyance. As a consequence, the waterfront industries of the Upper Bay experienced a decline leading to diverse plans for revitalization. In recent years, it has become a popular site for recreation sailing and kayaking.

The harbor is traversed by the Staten Island Ferry, which runs between Whitehall Street at the southernmost tip of Manhattanmarker near Battery Parkmarker (South Ferry) and St. George Ferry Terminal on Richmond Terrace in Staten Islandmarker near Richmond County Borough Hall and Richmond County Supreme Court.

A common misconception holds that the Upper Bay is devoid of marine life. It actually supports a very diverse population of marine species and recreation fishing, most commonly for striped bass and bluefish.


  1. Hudson River Estuary Dept. of Environmental Conservation, NY State.

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