New York City community leaders were desperate to save Governors Island from falling into the hands of private developers. A consortium of 40 civic organizations turned to Level M to direct the national brand strategy. We teamed up with Ruder Finn to design a public awareness campaign to draw attention to this dire situation. A historic Flotilla of 1000 boats was organized to set sail on June 2nd to symbolically reclaim Governors Island for New York. In the weeks leading up to the event, extensive media coverage combined with a political outreach campaign to pressure elected officials to save the Island. In January 2003, President Bush officially returned the Governors Island to New York State. This highly successful grassroots campaign demonstrates that with limited resources and a solid messaging strategy, an organization can create a single event capable of sending a message all the way to the White House. The campaign paved the way for the Governors Island Preservation & Education Corporation, Governors Island National Monument, and Governors Island Alliance. Today the island boasts 90 acres of public open space including a 22-acre National Park and fast becoming one of NYC's most post popular outdoor destination.