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Facts about New York Harbor for Kids

New York Harbor, located on the mainland of the continental United States and at the mouth of the Hudson River on its eastern shore, is one of the most important natural harbors in America. It offers an excellent harbor for seagoing vessels but wars have been fought over control of it.

Here are some interesting Facts about New York Harbor:

  • Before Europeans discovered it by accident in 1609, there was a vast number of American Indian tribes living around it. These tribes remain great fishermen and have long depended on fishing for their livelihoods.
  • New York Harbor is also the home of the green crab which is an invasive species. It has been displacing native species such as the blue crab and has invaded local waters such as Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and Maryland, Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, Massachusetts Bay and Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts.
  • The harbor was formed by glaciers in the last ice age and it connects to Long Island Sound to its east and Upper New York Bay to its north.
  • It covers about 359 square miles (932 square kilometers), about half the size of Lake Ontario, which it is connected to via the Niagara River.
  • It is home to about 5 million people and is a major transport route for passenger and cargo vessels, as well as an important port for commercial, military and recreational shipping.
  • There are twenty-three bridges that cross it.
  • The harbor is well known for the large number of fish found in it – 180 species of fish have been recorded there.
  • There are twenty-four ship graveyards in the area, collectively known as Black Rocks which were built to hold ships that were abandoned during World War I.
  • It is where the Statue of Liberty was built in 1884.
  • New York Harbor has been the site of many important battles in American history including the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776, the Battle of Long Island in 1776, Battle of Fort Washington in 1776, Battle of Harlem Heights in 1776, Battle of White Plains in 1776 and numerous others.
  • The harbor’s entrance has also been named after Alexander Hamilton, who founded the nation’s first commercial bank called “The Bank of New York” on Manhattan Island.
  • The Statue of Liberty is known for welcoming millions of immigrants to America each year.
  • New York Harbor is one of the five most important ports in the United States and the busiest port on the East Coast
  • There are many residential communities around it; Baychester, Parkchester, Williamsbridge Village I, Williamsbridge Village II, Pelham Gardens I, Pelham Gardens II and Morris Park among others developed around it.