Newtown Creek Alliance 2022 Tidal Toast

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Running right past our beloved shop, Newtown Creek is so much more than meets the eye. It is a crucial channel of connection spanning four neighborhoods, two boroughs, a century of neglectful pollution, and twenty years of careful restoration.

On October 20, 2022, we were honored to host the Newtown Creek Alliance and esteemed guests at our Metropolitan Avenue home for their 20 Year Anniversary Tidal Toast. Over 200 assembled for a night of community and commemoration, celebrating two decades of hard work and setting goals for the next twenty years. The event served as a joyous homecoming for local heroes, many of whom have been with the NCA since its grassroots beginning. We were grateful to join forces soon after taking up residence off the English Kills inlet, and found inspiration in this group of active neighbors.


It’s no secret that we at Colossal have a great deal of hometown pride. Not only is Brooklyn the birthplace of our business, it’s also our muse, our canvas, and our community. While we consider all of Brooklyn our ‘backyard,’ Newtown Creek is steps off our dock and seemed the perfect place to act locally. Unique to the English Kills inlet behind the Colossal Shop is preserved natural shoreline, unaugmented by concrete bulkheads. We saw an opportunity to join the NCA in revealing the waterway’s importance to other local businesses and revitalizing the area.

Over the years of collaboration with the NCA, we’ve witnessed the impact and improvement local support has had on the shoreline. This night was an opportunity to learn more about the history of the creek, continued impact of Industrial Revolution waste, and steps we can take to revitalize the area. 

I learned so much about this waterway’s history and cultural significance. As active residents of the area, we’re excited to be guided by our friends and neighbors at NCA in returning this waterway to its natural state.

– Jon Airis, VP of Real Estate & Development

Though the work is far from finished, this momentous anniversary was an opportunity to toast all that we’ve accomplished together. Honorees included Captain John Lipscomb (Restore Award), Christine Holowacz (Revitalize Award), and Mitch Waxman (Reveal Award). Being among longtime advocates for both local and global sustainability has us excited to join them in affecting positive change. 


This winter, Colossal will once again team up with the NCA in a shoreline upgrade effort. We’re thrilled to take this next step in our partnership, and to help navigate the path toward a more sustainable future for us all. 

Investment and commitments from local businesses that border Newtown Creek are crucially needed for the long-term revitalization of this highly polluted waterway. Colossal has been a wonderfully engaged ally and we are very excited to expand our partnership in implementing much needed improvements along English Kills.

– Willis Elkins, Executive Director of NCA

Here’s a Tidal Toast to the honored guests who’ve dedicated themselves to this waterway, and to the future volunteers who will help us in this effort. 

All photos courtesy of Newtown Creek Alliance.


To learn more about the NCA, get involved, or make a donation, please visit their website.

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