Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO)

CSOs are one of the primary reasons we still have dangerous spikes of sewage contamination in the Hudson. This one is from Manhattan (there are 500 of them in NYC alone), but we see the same thing in Troy and CSOs exist at many communities in between. Generally CSOs only discharge untreated sewage when there has been a rain event that overloads the system – but not always. These sewage discharges are “permitted” by NYS but it’s unacceptable that we still have these problems 37 years after passage of the Clean Water Act. It doesn’t have to continue this way. The public has to demand better – then polluters will lose permits and funding to repair the system will be found.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Tagging Atlantic Sturgeon near Norrie Point

We came upon the DEC fisheries team in the process of tagging six males – all about 6 feet long. These fish are so astounding to see up close! Our Atlantic Sturgeon population has been nearly wiped out by overfishing. There are more males now because it was the females that were taken for their eggs/caviar. Any species whose eggs are a gourmet treat is in real trouble! Unlimited harvest of a fish species just before they spawn is a pretty efficient way to exterminate them. We did it to Atlantic Sturgeon until 1997 and River Herring and American Shad as well. This year however, the shad fishery has been suspended – in the hope that the stock can be restored. Our declining herring population still has no protection at all.