Monday, November 14, 2011

Esopus Creek Continues To Run Red

The level of turbidity in the Lower Esopus Creek continues to run extremely high at the mouth of the creek as it empties muddy red water into the much clearer Hudson River. The below photos were taken on November 11 during our November patrol.


It has a similar appearance to last winter when NYS Department of Environmental Conservation brought an enforcement action against the NYC Department of Environmental Protection for their on-going turbid releases from the Ashokan Reservoir without any authorization. Now these releases are being made with the knowledge and acquiescence of DEC. 


Creek life and the Lower Esopus communities suffer when subjected to constant muddy conditions. Riverkeeper is working with local stakeholders to try to protect the creek from these on-going discharges from the city's reservoirs that harm water quality downstream.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking!

Bill Sutton said...

I'vE lived on the Esopus in the Glenerie area on the west side of the creek for over 50 years and can attest that the creek has never been this muddy for such a long time. Yesterday i took a ride around the reservoir to see what's going on. The Esopus flowing into the reservoir at Boiceville is reasonably clear. Both basins from the dividing weir are muddy. There is no water going over the lower basin spillway. Muddy water is pouring out of the waste channel. Where is all of the tubidity coming from?

Rob Friedman said...

@Bill Sutton,

According to our Watershed team, the turbid water discharging from the waste channel is from the lower level of the turbid West Basin. DEP cannot use the full complement of stop shutters to select waste channel water from less turbid levels of the water column because the crane they use to open and close the shutters is broken.

The crane has been inoperable for at least a couple of years and DEP has submitted a work order to repair it but the process has stalled for some undisclosed reason.

Thanks for your interest, more info to come as this story unfolds!