Heroic Endeavors: Testing the Waters - Riverkeeper Watches Over Hudson River Water Quality

In addition to being a leader in the fight against fracking and the campaign to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant, the Riverkeeper organization operates a comprehensive water quality testing program that collects and tests samples at dozens of locations from New York Harbor to Waterford, north of Albany.

Their program, the first to regularly test Hudson River water quality, makes the data publicly available within days. In this slideshow, Riverkeeper Patrol Boat Captain John Lipscomb and Carol Knudson from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University discuss the threats to the Hudson, their findings and much more during a recent monitoring run.

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AUTHOR'S NOTE:

Riverkeeper’s Water Quality program hit a milestone this year with the publication of "How Is the Water? Sewage Contamination in the Hudson River Estuary 2006-2010." You now have access to five years of data on sewage contamination at dozens of sites throughout the tidal Hudson.

Riverkeeper’s testing reveals that while the Hudson River has enjoyed great improvements in water quality over the past several decades (since the passage of the Clean Water Act), sewage contamination remains a problem. Of Riverkeeper’s water quality samples collected from 2006 through 2010, 21% failed EPA guidelines for primary contact.

And be sure to read about this year’s patrol/testing season; it was a remarkable one!

Responses to "Heroic Endeavors: Testing the Waters - Riverkeeper Watches Over Hudson River Water Quality"
The views and opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the Ecocentric Blog or GRACE Communications Foundation.

  1. Kyle Rabin

    Jen and Linda, Thank you for your respective comments. While not the main subject of this post, Riverkeeper

  2. Jen

    We need a ban on fracking, not regulation and not protection of only some areas. Unbless I hear the word ban, and also a call for the passage of state senate bill 4220 which is for a ban, then I know they are not sincere....

  3. linda

    When will we start supporting what environmentalists are across the country and the world: a ban on hydrofracking starting with a statewide ban in New York State where Riverkeeper is ’protecting’ water? Riverkeeper’s Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is on Governor Cuomo’s hydrofracking panel and should step down if he disagrees with its mission: to determine conditions for ’safe’ fracking in New York State. The threat of hydrofracking dwarfs the problems with instances of raw sewerage pouring into the Hudson. Our organization has shamefully pursued and supported the divide-and-conquer strategy of industry and the 1% govt to carve our ’special’ areas and facilitate fracking the rest. Not what we should be doing and not in keeping with our mission.

  4. jim desmond

    To steal an old political truism, all pollution is local. Villages have to stop blaming someone further up the watershed or stormwater ortheir next-door neighbor for their polluted water. The decaying sewer systems in these small towns are most likely the culprit. Coliform counts like those in this film don’t lie. They are yelling at you: SNAP OUT OF IT! Join together with the already organized groups; brainstorm; get in touch with Riverkeeper and The Soundkeeper; the county, the EPA. Start up some local noise about your water pollution. We have to swim inside a Gunderboom, an obvious indication that things are not the way they should be if the Sound were clean. Mamaroneck NY 12/16/11

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