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Audio Feature: Hudson River stories

May 12, 2017 9:30 am
Here are some stories from the Hudson River this week. Click here to hear an audio version of this report.

The Stevens Institute reports temperatures this week in the Hudson River near Albany have been between 52 and 56 degrees.

Paul Post reports in The Saratogian that after General Electric spent $2 billion cleaning up some of the polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, that the company previously added to the Hudson River, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now taking 400 Hudson River floodplain samples. From the 1940s to 1977 General Electric dumped vast quantities of PCBs into the Hudson River, from plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls. The EPA already has 7,500 samples from 670 properties since 2000. Now the agency wants to test more backwater areas from Fort Edward to Troy. "Julie Stokes, of Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce, said it could be five to 15 years before a floodplain cleanup method is agreed to, approved, designed and implemented," the story says. For more information about the floodplain study go to: www.epa.gov/hudson.

• Local sewer plants released announcements about their releases into local Hudson River water sources after heavy rains last weekend. The Village of Catskill Wastewater Treatment Plant on May 7 had two hours of release into Catskill Creek. The City of Hudson Wastewater Treatment Facility on May 6 had a five-and-a-half hour release into the Hudson River, and another four-and-a-half hour release May 5.

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation is currently in the tenth year tracking Hudson River eels. More than 550 volunteer are donning waders and venturing into tributary streams to participate in the DEC's research on migrating juvenile American eels (Anguilla rostrata). "New York is home to significant habitat that is critical to the life-cycle of many migratory fish species," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "The American Eel Research project is an excellent way to connect students and the community with nature while gathering research that can be valuable for the future study of this species and its role in our ecosystem." The Hudson River Estuary Program and Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve began ten years ago gathering data for multi-state management plans for eel conservation. Eel collection takes place at most sites daily from early March through mid-May. Now coastal states from Florida to Maine monitor the migrations of American eels. Local eels are born in the Sargasso Sea north of Puerto Rico, and every spring they arrive in estuaries like the Hudson River as translucent, two-inch long "glass eels." Eels will live in freshwater streams and lakes for up to 30 years before returning to the sea to spawn.
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