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Audio Feature: Hudson River stories

Jul 14, 2018 9:55 am
Here are some stories from the Hudson River this week. Click here to hear an audio version of this report. (6:33)

The Stevens Institute reports temperatures this week in the Hudson River at Schodack Island were between 80 and 84 degrees, warmer than last week.

William J. Kemble reports in The Daily Freeman on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal for storm surge barriers in New York Harbor that might affect communities along the 153-mile long Hudson River estuary upstream. The Hudson River protection group Riverkeeper is warning about the proposal that they believe the only option that should be considered is one limiting construction of barriers to the city’s shoreline area. Riverkeeper says on its website that the proposals for other surge barriers could diminish tidal flows that as far north as Troy. “These offshore barriers would start to restrict the tidal flow, contaminant and sediment transport, and migration of fish,” Riverkeeper says on its website. “They would impede the tidal respiration of the river. We fear that a slow death would be inflicted on the river and that, in time, the barriers would slowly but surely strangle the life out of the river as we know it.” Nancy Brighton, watershed section chief for the Army Corps of Engineers says studies are being conducted now to determine the impact upstream on the Hudson River ecosystem. “The Corp of Engineers research laboratory is doing some modeling on how the water would move ... [and] what happens, if anything, to the tides,” she said. The Army Corps hosted an information session July 11 in Poughkeepsie 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hudson Valley Community Center. The proposals can be viewed online at a link on the WGXC Newsroom. Written comments should be emailed by Aug. 20 to NYNJHarbor.TribStudy@usace.army.mil. The also can be sent by mail to Nancy Brighton, Watershed Section, Environmental Analysis Branch Planning Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, 26 Federal Plaza, Room 2151, New York, N.Y. 10279-0090. Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.

Patricia R. Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill July 10 requiring chain pharmacies to take back unused drugs they sell. Ulster County Executive Michael Hein believes that when the law goes into effect in January, there will be “less opioids on the street.... It’s real." “The Drug Take Back Act” also requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to pay for the program. While Hein says the law will affect the opioid issue, the environmental organization Riverkeeper believes the law will help the state’s waterways. “The data Riverkeeper has collected with the (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and Cornell University show large numbers of pharmaceuticals in the Hudson [River]. Giving people convenient access to take-back options will help prevent flushing of unused medications, eliminating one source of drugs in our waters,” said Dan Shapley, director of Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Program. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo July 11, announced 13 projects for the city of Hudson as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award. "This important investment will support Hudson's continued transformation by focusing on a sustainable, diverse and attractive downtown," Cuomo said. "These Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects will help the city continue its revitalization efforts by fostering job growth, creating new business opportunities and investing in community development that will improve Hudson's downtown for generations to come." The specific projects to be funded through the DRI include: Implement Complete Streets improvements ($4 million); renovate Promenade Hill Park and provide ADA access ($1.1 million); Improve the safety and aesthetics of Cross Street and the Second Street Stairs ($250,000); establish the North Bay ReGeneration Project for Environmental Education ($400,000); establish a community foodhub to support small startup businesses ($700,000); stabilize the Dunn Warehouse for future re-use ($1 million); winterize Basilica Hudson and create a high-visibility public greenspace ($250,000); Redevelop the KAZ site as mixed-use transit-oriented development ($487,000); provide workforce development infrastructure at River House ($250,000); repurpose the former Fugary Boat Club as a city park ($150,000); construct mixed-use and mixed-income housing on State Street ($800,000); provide minority, women and veteran owned business support ($100,000); and, fit out commercial kitchen and retail space to provide workforce training ($230,000). Hudson was named a DRI Round 2 winner in August. Read the full press release at governor [dot] NY [dot] gov.