Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


The Narrows is a channel connecting the upper and lower sections of New York Bay and forms the principal channel by which the Hudson River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It is considered to be the "gateway" to New York City and historically has been the most important entrance into the harbor.

Approximately one-half mile wide and ninety feet deep at its deepest point, the strait separates Staten Island from Long Island and the Borough of Brooklyn.

The Narrows were most likely formed about 6,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. Previously Staten Island and Long Island were connected and the Hudson emptied into the ocean through the present course of the Raritan. A build up of water in the Upper Bay allowed the river to break through to form the Narrows as it exists today (Waldman, 2000).

The first recorded European entrance into the Narrows was by Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524.

In 1964, the Narrows were spanned by the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world.