By Danny Lewis

There are two things we need to think about when we think about waterways – how to transform them into usable space and the increasing risk the rivers pose to people living nearby. There’s a lot of opportunity to change the ways we think about New York’s rivers and islands. At the same time, our infrastructure has to be strong enough to face the challenges of extreme weather and rising sea levels.

While the waterways are becoming something people enjoy again, for some people, the rivers have a dark side. Reporter Danny Lewis brings us the stories of Jean Barberis and Joe Hernkind, whose lives were changed forever by New York’s waters.

To see how Mare Liberum builds their paper canoes, check out the slideshow below.