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New River Plan Will Guide Next Decade of Restoration Along the Hudson

Hudson River Comprehensive Restoration Plan assesses state of the river, outlines projects critical to its protection for future generations

Poughkeepsie, NY

On behalf of Partners Restoring the Hudson, The Nature Conservancy announced today the completion of the Hudson River Comprehensive Restoration Plan, which recommends project opportunities to enhance and secure the future of the river. Convened by The Nature Conservancy, Partners Restoring the Hudson is a group of more than 30 organizations dedicated to protecting the river.

The plan details the current conditions of the Hudson River estuary, identifies potential restoration sites and recognizes the needs that must be addressed in the coming decades to restore the river and prepare for future conditions including sea level rise and increasingly frequent and severe storms. It was designed to inform and enhance two existing plans for the river – the federal New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program Action Agenda and the New York State Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda.

Combining natural resource and people needs with potential projects related to river restoration, including community infrastructure and waterfront access opportunities, The Nature Conservancy and partners analyzed the 125-mile stretch of the estuary from Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge to the Federal Lock and Dam at Troy.

Over the last 40 years, significant progress has been made to improve the condition of the Hudson River estuary. Lingering challenges, however, pose serious threats to the river and its shoreline communities. This new report brings together the knowledge of scientists, communities, and advocates and provides a map of restoration opportunities to guide efforts so the river can be enjoyed and beloved by many generations to come.

“Partnerships and planning are essential to advance common goals for restoring the Hudson River and we congratulate The Nature Conservancy and the Partners Restoring the Hudson on the release of the Hudson River Comprehensive Restoration Plan,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New York is making significant investments to restore the river and bolster the resiliency of communities along its banks through the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act and $300 million Environmental Protection Fund, and this new plan provides another important tool to ensure these investments are being maximized to improve the health of the Hudson and the regional economy it supports for future generations.”

"We applaud the Partners Restoring the Hudson for developing a plan that simultaneously enhances the regional economy while improving the health of the Hudson River," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber. “We share the goal of ensuring a healthy river system, which is as vital for local communities as it is for the fish and wildlife we cherish."

“The Hudson River is an icon of New York, and an epicenter of commerce, recreation, and community life,” said Stuart F. Gruskin, New York Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer for The Nature Conservancy. “A source of life for centuries, for too long the integrity of the river has been compromised. This new report empowers stakeholders to take action to restore the river for the benefit of the 16 million New Yorkers who live, work, play, and depend on our majestic river.”

"Communities in the Hudson River Valley have a great tradition of coming together to solve environmental problems and get things done," said Andy Bicking, Director of Public Policy, Scenic Hudson. "The Hudson River Comprehensive Restoration Plan is no exception to that rule. Together, the region is collaborating to tackle our most pressing issues - creating clean water, and safeguarding and creating access to natural lands - and making a difference. This plan has the potential to attract significant attention and investment that can enhance our quality of life and ensure the Hudson Valley continues to thrive for generations to come."

“Science underpins effective restoration work,” said Stuart Findlay, aquatic ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. “We are fortunate that the scientific community studying the Hudson River is strong and covers diverse topics. Most of the information needed to guide the Hudson's restoration is available, and we know what aspects require further study.”

“Restoring the Hudson River ecosystem to health has been the goal of Riverkeeper for more than 50 years,” said Dan Shapley, Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Program Director. “We look forward to helping to achieve the goals in this plan identified by teams of scientists to protect and restore life in the Hudson.”

“The Hudson River Watershed Alliance is pleased to endorse the Hudson River Comprehensive Restoration Plan as a significant step forward for protecting and managing the Hudson River Estuary,” said Simon Gruber, President, Hudson River Watershed Alliance. “The Alliance looks forward to working with grassroots watershed groups, communities and other stakeholders in the region to support its successful implementation.”

"The Hudson River Comprehensive Restoration Plan will be an extremely useful tool for Hudson River communities to reference and use as they work collectively to preserve their shorelines, protect their infrastructure, build resiliency and guard the estuary,” said Jerry Faiella, Executive Director, Historic Hudson River Towns.

Designed to catalyze innovation and inspire collaboration, the Hudson River Comprehensive Restoration Plan will enable stakeholders to work collectively towards a shared goal of a healthy, vibrant, and resilient Hudson River, including:

  • Improve ecosystem function and health, strengthen the region’s economy, and safeguard waterfront communities by implementing restoration projects such as those that can help increase resilience to sea level rise, flooding, and extreme weather events.
  • Secure and leverage federal, state, local, and private dollars to restore valued natural resources and community infrastructure.

This assessment for the estuary will help inform and guide management and conservation actions for decades to come.

To read more about Partners Restoring the Hudson and the plan, visit thehudsonweshare.org.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.