Thursday, May 31, 2007

Waterkeepers from China patrol the Hudson

We were joined by two visitors from China, Yun Jian Li, the Han River Waterkeeper, and Zhang Jun Feng, the North Canal Riverkeeper, to take a tour of the Hudson River during their New York stay before heading down to New Orleans for the Waterkeeper Alliance Convention.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Radioactive contamination in shellfish studied

Photos by John Lipscomb
Patrolled with Indian Point Policy Analyst Phillip Musegaas. We gathered clams from the bottom of the east end of Haverstraw Bay in a “practice run” to prepare for eventually having clams and other shellfish analyzed for radioactive contamination that may be a result of the leaks from Indian Point’s spent fuel pools. Radionuclides, particularly strontium-90, concentrate in the bones and shells of fish and shellfish. Several samples of Hudson River fish have already shown slightly elevated levels of strontium-90, but the results are inconclusive because of fish migration patterns. Sampling shellfish would provide a better picture of the leaks’ effects on the Hudson ecosystem. Testing clams for strontium-90 is especially critical because they are a major food source for Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon that winter in Haverstraw Bay.

Photo above shows clams and typical (healthy) bottom sediment in lower estuary.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Supporting DEC's Atlantic Sturgeon Study

This Atlantic Sturgeon was caught in Haverstraw Bay on May 23rd. He's 7'3" and weighs 200 lbs. DEC Fisheries tells us that approximately 300 female and 700 male spawning age Atlantic Sturgeon remain in the Hudson. They were almost fished out for their meat and eggs (caviar) before the fishery was closed in 1996. Recovery will be very slow because female don't spawn until they are around 20.

The DEC attaches satellite and sonic tags so that the fish can be tracked over time. We have to know their habits to protect them. Riverkeeper, patrol boat assists by lifting the hydrophone moorings and buoys at Hastings and at Catskill twice a year to download data.

We love this project.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Illegal dumping in Garrison stopped

Photos by John LipscombHudson Riverkeeper & President Alex Matthiessen joined the patrol to check on pollution reports. He also met with citizens in Hudson seeking assistance with details in their Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP).


We recorded this Garrison dumping site in April. After relaying the images to the office, Riverkeeper staff insisted that local Garrison officials require an immediate clean-up (or “stop work order”) on this construction site. Garrison officials agreed and the site was quickly cleared.


Checking the water quality in Newtown Creek

We did sampling in the East River with Lamont-Doherty's Greg O'Mullen and his crew, as part of our water quality pilot program. We also patrolled with City Limits Reporter and a PBS film crew.

Discovered a new oil absorb that Exxon installed at Meeker Avenue. This is at the eastern end of the original plume which is migrating. We suspect that the plume has found a new route into the creek.

At the east branch of Newtown Creek we found a discharge from a cement plant. We have had a successful prosecution of another cement plant on the Creek. This is a second plant we’re investigating. We’ve commented on this discharge and it ended. It has since started up again.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Northern Hudson Observations

Photos by John Lipscomb

Sign by waterfront at Fort Edward. THANK YOU GE!

We saw a bunch of turtles sunning on half submerged logs just below Champlain Canal lock 4 on our way up to Fort Edward - but I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo. Southbound on the 13th they were all still there. Something about this particular spot really pleases them.

5/13: The Hudson River is this guy’s personal dumpster. This property is located just north of Waterford on the east bank of the Hudson River/Champlain Canal before you get to Lock 1. I’ve talked to the property owner, his neighbor and the County Police boat – all to no avail. We’ll have to try another angle.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

An unlucky catch

Photos by John Lipscomb
5/11 - Catch and release doesn’t always work as well as one would hope. Fishing with lures and circle hooks versus traditional hooks with bait increases fishes' chance of survival.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Solar powered catamaran visits the Hudson River

Photos by John Lipscomb
5/8: Sun21, the solar powered catamaran developed and sponsored by the Swiss Transatlantic21 Association made its historic arrival in New York City’s North Cove Marina. The arrival completed the 7,000-mile journey across the Atlantic of the motorized boat that was powered solely by the sun.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Taking Attorneys and Press out on Newtown Creek

Out on Newtown Creek with an editorial crew from New York Magazine.

Church property on Harlem River.

Newtown Creek with Attorneys from Girardi and Keese and a film crew. This legal team successfully prosecuted the famous Erin Brockovich case and now they’re going after EXXON on behalf of local home and business owners in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tracking Atlantic Sturgeon in the Hudson

Riverkeeper assists the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Fisheries of New Paltz with installing hydrophones that track sturgeon of spawning age. An important part of this program is catching Atlantic Sturgeon and attaching computerized tags. There are 1,000 (700 males and 300 females) left in the estuaries. Protection of sturgeon spawning grounds and habitat is essential.

Interstate Environmental Commission collecting water quality indicators and enterococcus.