The Hudson River is the defining natural feature of southeastern New York, familiar to millions who drive across its bridges and admire its grandeur from parks and historic sites.
The estuary, its tributaries, and the lands that feed them are home to more than 200 types of fish, 19 kinds of rare birds, and 140 rare plants. The upper reaches of the estuary are also flanked by extremely rare wetlands that need the tide?s daily floods but cannot stand salt.
The Hudson River watershed supports same number of people as the state of Colorado, and more than a million new residents are projected in the next 10 years. The density and speed of development in the valley create serious challenges to conservation efforts as habitats are lost or fragmented and pathways for movement are interrupted.
Climate change is not only raising sea level, it is altering weather patterns to subject the valley to more violent storms and protracted drought.
Non-native invasive species such as water chestnut and zebra mussels have altered the food web, impacting the aquatic animal populations, while pollution from myriad sources threatens not only plants and animals but also drinking water, recreation, and commerce.
This is an exciting time for The Nature Conservancy, one in which we can make enormous progress toward protecting the fabled Hudson and its surrounding watershed.
The Eastern New York Chapter is working closely with many partners to ensure the viability of native species by conserving critical estuary habitats, protecting and restoring the network of tributaries that replenish and nourish the estuary, restoring signature fisheries to their full potential, guiding local development to embrace both economic and environmental vitality, and designing conservation strategies that can succeed in the face of global climate change and rising sea levels.