Here's what the NY Times had to say about this marine salvage yard, more popularly known as the "ship graveyard" or "boat graveyard", back in 1990:
For decades the Witte Marine Equipment Company, the lone remaining commercial marine-salvage yard in the city, has given mothballed, scuttled, abandoned and wrecked ships of all sizes a final port. Through the years it has become, an "accidental marine museum," as a nautical magazine described it, with one of the world's largest collections of historic ships.There were once some 400 vessels to be found here, resting in the muck along a bend of the Arthur Kill. While there are far fewer today — old man Witte's successors have dismantled many of the boats since his passing in 1980 — the ship graveyard, now owned by the Donjon Marine Company, still makes for quite an impressive sight. This aerial view will help you get a sense of things, and, if you're interested, you can find many more photos of the place here.
To historians like Norman Brouwer, curator of the South Street Seaport Museum, it "is a tableau of the history of shipping in New York."