- Jon Bowermaster
For many years, the Hudson River, like so many waterways across the U.S., was treated like an infinite waste barrel, a receptacle for poisonous chemicals, hazardous waste and trash of all descriptions. During the past forty years, thanks to a committed group of environmentalists and their agencies, the river has become markedly cleaner, a far more welcoming place for small business and community investment. While the river is still an under-utilized natural resource, increasingly it is used by boaters, kayakers, even swimmers as a recreational playground. But in the words of Riverkeeper’s John Lipscomb, the Hudson River from Troy to Manhattan has “had a foot on its neck” for more than one hundred years due to all that pollution and unmonitored industrialization. So despite all of the improvements the river and valley have witnessed thanks to the coordination of some of the savviest environmentalists in the country, there are still environmental risks and concerns. In fact, even though New York State successfully banned fracking in December 2014, in the two years since, the State has become the transportation hub for fracked oil and gas (from PA and ND) via train, pipeline and barge on the Hudson. Please join the conversation!