Monday, March 26, 2012

If A New Tappan Zee Bridge IS Built, Dredging Isn't Needed

Governor Cuomo and the NYS Thruway Authority have asked the Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to dredge approximately 1.5 million cubic yards on the north side of the existing Tappan Zee Bridge over the next five years. According to the Army Corps of Engineers Public Notice from January 27, 2012,  "the dredging is to provide an access channel located north of, and parallel to the current bridge in order to safely bring in and maneuver marine equipment for construction of the new bridge."  Thus far, the State has failed to make the case that extensive, long-term dredging is the only alternative.

The images below, taken last week, show a crane barge, deck barge with steel pilings aboard, and a tugboat.

This equipment is driving test piles for the "Pile Installation Demonstration Project" (PIDP), seen in the image below.

The depth at low tide at this location is 8 feet.  What these images prove is that heavy pile driving equipment and tugs can operate within the existing depths available next to the bridge.  The current bridge was built without dredging a service channel.

The catastrophic damage to the River, which would result from dredging a service channel, is unnecessary.  We must find a way to solve our transportation problems without sacrificing the Hudson River.

Aerial photos courtesy of RossPilot

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring River View

It feels like Spring and the Patrol Boat is almost back on the water.  This morning we were out (on foot) doing some sampling and snapped this lovely shot.

Get ready to see us back out on the water shortly!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Water Quality Talk in Brooklyn

Last week Riverkeeper was at the Brooklyn Brewery discussing local water quality issues with a full room of area clean water advocates.

Riverkeeper staff and volunteers were joined by
City Councilman Steve Levin and other community leaders.

The "How Is the Water?" talk was sponsored by the Newtown Creek Alliance and the brewery. The Brooklyn activist network turned out in force, including folks from the New York City Water Trail Association and the North Brooklyn Boat Club, with great questions and comments on the state of the creek and a clear passion for its future renewal.

After Riverkeeper's presentation, City Councilman Stephen Levin announced that he has introduced Sewage Right to Know legislation for New York City. Welcome news, especially for the paddlers, swimmers and fishermen in the room!

If you missed this event you have another chance to catch Riverkeeper's "How's the Water?" presentation this Thursday at the REI Soho store in Manhattan at 7pm. We hope to see you there!

Monday, March 05, 2012

UPDATE: Retired Staten Island Ferry in Newburgh

Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 2:44 PM
To: John Lipscomb
Subject: Update


At 1355 on Wednesday March 7, 2012 I took two friends to see the Retired Staten Island Ferry that is taking on water at SteelWays Shipyard in New Windsor, NY.  We went to the Newburgh Rowing Club location just north of the Ferry for the best perspective.  Immediately upon exiting the car we were hit with the strong odor of fuel oil.  Upon further inspection a large sheen was seen on the water between the rowing docks and the ferry.  This sheen is made all the more obvious as the wind was blowing 15-20 knots out of the SSE and the river was full of whitecaps, except where the oil was dampening the wave action.  



NYS DEC Spill Response is in contact with the Coast Guard and the environmental clean up contractor on site. Currently, the salvage company is performing a dive survey to determine the best way to raise the vessel.

The area is surrounded by 1000 ft of boom to capture any residual oil/gas, just in case.

However, all petroleum products were removed from the vessel when it was retired.


We just received this email from a citizen in Newburgh reporting that a retired Staten Island ferry is capsizing. We're waiting on more information.

From: BA
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2012 2:01 PM
To: John Lipscomb
Subject: Ferry


    Attached are photos taken at 1335 Monday March 5th from Newburgh Rowing Docks.  Two small boats in the vicinity setting/tending oil containment boom.