Friday, March 30, 2007

Harbor School students on patrol

On 3-27 and 3-29-07 we patrolled Newtown Creek with students from the Harbor School. Sabrina Wells from Riverkeeper described the environmental problems facing Newtown Creek and Riverkeeper's case against EXXON MOBIL. The Harbor School is a high school in Brooklyn which integrates it's curriculum into the study of maritime culture history and the environment of New York City and its surrounding waters.

It was great for us to get to speak with local students about THEIR waters.

3-29-07 on the Harlem River on the Bronx side near Highbridge there is a church owned property where all kinds of trash and waste are being dumped into the River.

Riverkeeper has been gently asking for a cleanup for a year now. I'd like to end the gentle part now. This is not only the most blatant dumping on the Harlem River but it's also a terrible embarassment - every tourist from every corner of the world who rides the Circle Line around Manhattan gets to see the low regard some of us have for our water.

What astounds me is that none of the NYPD boats, DEC or DEP and NY Parks boats which often pass by seem to have ever reported this site. They all have the mandate AND the authority to order a cleanup.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A small victory on Newtown Creek

Photos by John Lipscomb

On 3/27/07 we returned to Newtown Creek and found a recycling barge losing some plastic material through a tear in its protective netting. We called Basil Seggos at Riverkeeper who put us in contact with an executive with the company.

Within 15 minutes of contacting the executive we saw a crew board the barge to clean up the material and repair the netting.

What a great response! It's not often that industry responds so eagerly.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Launch Day 2007

Photos by John LipscombIt's great to go back into the water after winter layup! We launched the “Fletcher” on March 19th into some remaining loose ice. Commissioning systems and swelling up the planking took a week.

Our first working day was the 26th on Newtown Creek.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Upper Hudson north of the Federal Dam at Troy

Photo by John Lipscomb
This photo was taken in July 2005

This is a photo was taken on the Upper Hudson – above the estuary – north of the Federal lock at Troy and north of Waterford and the Mohawk River.

We are looking north east. If the viewer turned left you would see the first lock of the Champlain Canal about a third of a mile north. If the viewer turned around 180 degrees you'd see a GE Silicones Plant discharge which has a pollution discharge permit from NYSDEC.

You can’t tell from the photo but there are 6 or 7 small flood plain islands ahead and to the left – below the dam at Lock 1. The one on the left (where the boats are tied up) is owned by a local boat club and is used for swimming and picnics. Straight ahead is Fiona Island which was donated to Riverkeeper several years ago and is preserved wild - as habitat. We anchor at this spot each month to check Fiona Island, collect water samples, etc. Fort Edward is about 30 miles farther north – at Lock 7. The General Electric PCB dredging will take place between here and Fort Edward.